Six weeks remain to #MakeManateeCount

Six weeks remain to #MakeManateeCount
Posted on 08/14/2020

MANATEE COUNTY, FL (Aug. 14, 2020) – Manatee County residents have six more weeks to respond to the 2020 Census to avoid an undercount that could cost the state and local community billions of dollars for programs and impact representation in Congress.

U.S. Census workers begin door-to-door visits this week to follow up at homes that haven’t yet responded. The easiest way to respond is to take the census securely online today at, by phone in English (844-330-2020) or here in a foreign language.

The urgency for all residents to respond quickly recently increased with the U.S. Census Bureau’s announcement that it is ending the nationwide population count on Sept. 30, 2020, one month earlier than previously scheduled.

As of Thursday, Aug. 12, 56.6 percent of Manatee County residents have responded to the Census, trailing Florida's overall count by about 4 percentage points. According to the Census, Anna Maria Island, along with west and south Manatee County are the areas where the most residents need to be counted.

“Taking the census is an important civic duty that only takes a few minutes,” said County Administrator Cheri Coryea. “If you've completed the census already please remind your family, friends and neighbors. It's a small time investment that will help build a better community for years to come.”

Manatee County has an online toolkit and video for residents who want to help spread word on the importance of the Census.

Programs throughout Florida get about $44 billion in federal funding based on data collected in the 2010 census, according to a study by George Washington University.

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census guides funding for a range of critical programs and services, including healthcare, roads, schools, food assistance and much more. The count also determines how many seats in the U.S. House of Representatives go to each state.

Census Bureau In-Person Follow Up – What to Expect

Census takers are expected to begin visiting homes that have not yet responded this week. All Census workers will wear masks during their work and maintain social distancing while asking a few basic questions to complete the household survey.

Important facts (from U.S. Census Bureau):

  • Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge.
  • All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
  • If no one is home when the census taker visits, they will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.

The census asks basic questions, such as name, age, sex, race/ethnicity, but the survey does not ask for sensitive personal data, including Social Security numbers or citizenship status.