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Committees are forming around the state to raise awareness a

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Committees are forming around the state to raise awareness about Census 2020
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Workers are busy forming more than 150 committees across Mississippi to encourage citizens to participate in the 2020 Census. MPB's Ashley Norwood reports.

Members of Mississippi's Complete Count Committees are raising awareness and understanding about the importance of the 2020 Census. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the nation gets one chance every ten years to count its population.

Giles Ward chairs the state committee. He says it is critically important that everyone is counted.

"For every person that is not counted in the Census, more than $20, 000 over a period of ten years the state of Mississippi will miss in federal programs and benefit dollars," said Ward.

Ward says participation in the census determines funding levels for infrastructure, education and public healthcare. It also makes a difference in the state's number of congressmen or women.

John Green is director of the State Data Center of Mississippi. He says over the years, there have been some challenges collecting data in Mississippi.

"We know that we have some areas that have limited access to broadband. We have some areas of high poverty rates. So those are all factors that we think impact wether or not places will have high participation rates in the Census," said Green.

Green says they are focused on raising awareness in rural areas of the state. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, the Mississippi Delta has had a significant undercount over the years. For information about joining or forming a complete count committee in your community, visit the Census Bureau's website.

Ashley Norwood, MPB News.