WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The new 2020 Census deadline is days away as north country reporting numbers are still low. County officials are working to get everyone counted.
Signs are still posted up and down Arsenal Street in Watertown to urge people to complete the 2020 Census.
The New York state average for self-reporting is around 64 percent but north Country numbers fall below that.
In Jefferson County, the self-response rate is about 49 percent.
“We are lower in self-response than we were in the last census by roughly 9 to 10 percent so we still need people to fill out their census,” said Michael Bourcy, Jefferson County Planning director.
Based on population, every person in the north country accounts for about $2,000 in federal funding a year, totaling about $20,000 every 10 years.
St. Lawrence County Planner John Tenbusch says that’s why it’s important to be counted.
“That is a lot of money and we already pay too much taxes. We cannot afford to make that up by using local funds,” he said.
St. Lawrence county is leading the tri-county in reporting, but stills fall below the state average at around 57 percent.
Lewis County has the lowest self-reporting numbers at 44 percent after it led the north county in reporting numbers in 2010.
The county received a $35,000 grant from the state recently to do a last minute push to try to boost that number.
County Manager Ryan Piche says he hopes it will help.
“If you care about the community that you live in, if you care about your school district and if you care about good health care, just take 5 minutes. Go online, call the 1-800 number, do the census and it will make a huge difference,” he said.
If you haven’t already, you can still head over to 2020census.gov to fill out your census before the October 5 deadline.