‘It can only hurt us to be undercounted’: Census deadline just days away


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the Census count supposed to be wrapping up in just nine days, Common Cause Executive Director John Marion says it is important for everyone to be counted.

Marion said if you haven’t filled out the census or aren’t sure, head to my2020census.gov.

“It’s an election year, a lot of people are focused on, Well I want to get out there and vote,'” he said. “Well there is another civic responsibility, which is filling out the Census.”

According to U.S. Census data, about 96% of households in Rhode Island and Massachusetts have responded in some way, but Marion said the four percent difference is larger than it might sound.

“It’s tens of thousands of people,” Marion said. “That puts [Rhode Island] in 25th place. Historically the last 5% are the hardest to get, and that affects us in terms of money and representation.”

Marion said the count is a critical factor in determining how much federal money the state will receive.

“The fewer Rhode Islanders that are counted, the less federal money that comes back to Rhode Island,” he said. “It can only hurt us to be undercounted fiscally, in addition to the questions of political representation.”

Rhode Island is set to lose one of its two U.S. House seats after the 2020 Census, according to an analysis of newly released population data.

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