COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
City of Columbia and Boone County officials announced a partnership on Friday in order to get the most accurate information for the 2020 census.
Mayor Brian Treece and Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill announced Friday that Dr. Tracy-Greever Rice, a rural sociology professor at MU, and county clerk Brianna Lennon will co-chair the Boone County Counts initiative.
"It's critically important that everyone gets counted," Treece said.
Those responding to the census in Boone County will be able to respond online, by phone or by mail when forms go out in April. Census takers will then go door-to-door to try to gather non-responders and will visit the same house up to six times.
Some projects and initiatives in Boone County are dependent on accurate census information, including the replacement of the Missouri River bridge at Rocheport.
Sixteen different federal agencies' funding is tied to the census, including Medicaid, Title I, WIC and federal highway funding, Treece said.
In Columbia, veterans, seniors, people of color, renters and foreign-born individuals are among those who are at risk to be under counted, according to Treece. One of the challenges Boone County Counts will face is that census forms go out in April right when Mizzou students are wrapping up the semester and leaving town within a few weeks.
In the 2010 census, 77 percent of Boone County residents responded, meaning census takers had to go door-to-door for the other 23 percent, Treece said. The national and state average is 74 percent self-response.
Census forms will go out in April, and counts must be sent to the president by Dec. 31, 2020.