PHOENIX (3TV/CBS5) -- The clock is ticking to do your part to make sure Arizona doesn't miss out on billions of dollars for schools, police and even coronavirus relief. We're just 2 weeks away from the census deadline and the news for our state does not look good. Only about 60% of Arizonans have completed and turned in the questionnaire. An inaccurate census could lead to changes in everyday life. Billions of dollars are at stake for things like schools, roads, health care plus a seat in Congress.
Arizona is eligible for nearly 700 billion dollars in federal funding every year, the breaks down to about $3,000 dollars per person a year if everyone is counted but only 62.8% of people have turned in their questionnaire with only two weeks until the deadline. "The services, things like head start programs, after school programs, transportation, public safety. All of these things are impacted by us having an accurate count in the census," said City of Phoenix Census Director Albert Santana. Santana said that Phoenix's turnout is 64.5%, they'd like to see it higher but admit they're facing challenges this year. "When the pandemic happened families and individuals had to pay attention to public health so you have families that are now telecommuting. They have their children at home cause they can't be at school. When you put those things together rightfully so people's attention needed to be on public health," said Santana.
But Santana will tell you the city's last census helped fund coronavirus relief, even more of a reason he said that you should be counted. "We need you to know that its not only going to impact the daily services that families depend on but it also impacts getting resources during national emergencies that none of us could have predicted," said Santana.
If you would like to fill out a census questionnaire, click here.