Pelican city’s U.S. Census response rate appears to be running only 55 percent

By Brent Frazier, mayor City of Pelican Rapids 

Money is a medium of exchange that seems to drive everything in today’s world. From our personal life to civic organizations, to businesses, to schools, and to local governments, money seems to be a driving force. 

Our dreams and desires in life as well as our purchasing power depend upon that bottom line figure in our bank account. Do we have enough money for our current expenses? Do we have enough money for our future expenditures? Do we have enough money for our ‘dream’ purchase? Do we have enough money set aside to cover an unexpected emergency? 

One thing we can be assured of is that there is no such thing as ‘free money.’ Money that is given as a grant to an individual, organization, school, or government may seem free, but it is definitely someone else’s money that was handed out in good faith. 

A census is defined as an official count or survey of a population and is conducted every 10 years. Thus our last census count in the City of Pelican Rapids was in the year 2010 with a population count of 2,464.

Our nation is currently involved in the 2020 Census, as we are also involved in the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. This pandemic has truly slowed down the work of the U. S. Census Bureau with their task to recruit paid volunteers to accomplish the mission at hand, as well as the focus of community members to file their 2020 census household headcount.

The 2020 United States Census count was to come to a close on July 31, but with the current pandemic situation, this deadline has been extended to October 31. That is an extension of 3 months for everyone that has not yet filed to now file their census information by mail or online at 2020CENSUS.GOV. 

What most of us fail to realize is that the federal money (yes, that is our money also) that is handed down to states, counties, cities, schools, public transportation, childcare programs, job assistance, and healthcare is based on the current census count.

It has been estimated that for every person that is not counted in a census, there is a loss of $2,800.00, or $28,000.00 over a ten year period given to the above-mentioned categories. 

In the year of 2010, the City of Pelican Rapids had a census response rate of 71%. With this 2010 response rate, we notice the potential loss of revenue that we could have received if everyone would have responded to the U. S. Census Bureau. 

Thus far, in 2020 there has been only a City of Pelican Rapids census response rate of approximately 55%. Our numbers are down which in fact could mean fewer dollars, that we have paid to the federal government, returned to our city and community.

This is money that if it is not returned to us, it will undoubtedly go to another community/city organization or another government entity.

We now realize the importance of reporting the number of persons living in our household for the 2020 Census. If you have not yet done so, please do so today as it is important to our city and community of Pelican Rapids.