Block Island Times

Census data affects local funding, congressional representation

Filling out your census form is not just a mechanism to count a city or town’s population, it also directly ties into federal funding that municipality may — or may not — receive, according to Jeff Behler, the Regional Director for the U.S. Census Bureau.
Census workers were scheduled to head out and knock on doors in March, but the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to that. Census workers are now scheduled to start on Aug. 11, but Behler said residents don’t have to wait for someone to show up at their house in order to fill out the form.
“Every household can for the first time ever and give their information right over the phone,” said Behler, who spoke to The Block Island Times on Friday, April 30. Behler said there are 14 separate phone numbers, each in a different language. Residents can also fill out their census online. “We have English and 12 non-English languages available,” said Behler. “Just hit a button and the page will automatically translate into” the language the visitor has chosen.
Residents can also fill out the form the old-fashioned way, on paper, or they can wait until

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