With a September 30 deadline looming for responding to the 2020 U.S. Census, Florida lags behind most states in getting info to the federal government.
Florida ranks 43 of the 50 states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, with an 87.4 percent response rate, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The national response rate is 91.8 percent.
Idaho, West Virginia, Hawaii, Washington state and Kansas have the highest response rates, between 97.1 and 99.3, with Idaho the highest.
Responses collected are from Internet, phone, mail or in-person, and every person must be counted.
Responding to the Census is vital because the data collected is used to determine funding for everything from education and medical care to roads and job programs.
Census data also helps determine representation in Congress and in state and local governments, according to reports published earlier this month by the Committee on Oversight and Reform and Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the U.S. House of Representatives.
In a report on Florida, for the 2010 Census, 16 million people were not counted, including Blacks, Hispanics and other groups.
Florida could lose $188.8-million per year if all people aren’t counted, according to the Committee on Oversight and Reform. The estimate is the amount of federal funding lost in select healthcare, job training, and education programs with just a 1% undercount.