CLARION - The final push to complete the 2020 U.S. Census is on as the active counting is scheduled to end Sept. 30 and as of Sept. 7, Clarion County's self-response rate was 59.7 percent.

That rate is up from 57.4 at the end of July, but still lags behind the 2010 count.

In the 2010 U.S. Census, Clarion County's final self-response rate was 63.4 percent.

Statewide, the self-response rate Sept. 7 was at 68.2 percent.

Forest County's self-response rate was the lowest in the state at 26 percent; Jefferson County stood at 60.7 percent ad Venango County was at 64 percent.

U.S. Census Bureau Partnership Specialist James Cunningham attended the Sept. 1 meeting of Clarion Borough Council and said it's not too late for Clarion Borough residents, as well as all other county residents, to complete the census questionnaire.

Cunningham said "door knockers" are now going door-to-door to visit households that did not self-respond.

Those visits will continue through the end of the month.

Self-responses (by either mail-in form or Internet participation) in Clarion Townships range from a low of 41 percent in Farmington Township to a high of 81 percent in neighboring Knox Township.

Other township self-response levels include: Ashland -- 73 percent; Beaver 76 percent; Brady 43 percent; Clarion 49 percent; Elk 70 percent; Highland 66 percent; Madison 64 percent; Millcreek 42 percent; Monroe 67 percent; Licking 57 percent; Limestone 74 percent; Paint 69 percent; Perry 62 percent; Piney 62 percent; Porter 74 percent; Redbank 69 percent; Richland 58 percent; Salem 71 percent; Toby 56 percent and Washington 47 percent.

In borough self-response rates, Shippenville leads the way at 66 percent while Callensburg is last at 54 percent.

Other borough response rates include: Clarion 56 percent; East Brady 55 percent; Foxburg 61 percent; Hawthorn 57 percent; Knox 59 percent; Rimersburg 58 percent; St. Petersburg 59 percent; and Sligo at 62 percent.

In an effort to encourage census response, County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania President Jeff Snyder noted, "The U.S. Constitution requires a census count every ten years, and documents population increases, decreases, and changes in community demographics.

"Those statistics are then used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and determines the amount of federal funding Pennsylvania receives for essential programs and services, including healthcare, food assistance, education, transportation, housing, community development and more."

Counties also use this funding to support the many related services and programs they provide.

"Despite being in the middle of a global pandemic, Pennsylvania remains committed to encouraging residents to respond to the 2020 Census as it determines our state's funding for the next 10 years," said Norman Bristol Colon, Executive Director for the Governor's 2020 Census Complete Count Commission. "Based on our last population count, Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion annually for our 16 largest federally-funded programs alone. At this time, I am asking Pennsylvanians to take 10 minutes out of their schedules to respond to the 2020 Census, whether by phone, mail or online. We need everyone's help to ensure that our communities receive their fair share of federal public funding and influence."

Pennsylvanians who have not responded to the 2020 census should expect a census enumerator to contact them in person or over the phone.

All census workers must carry a valid ID badge with their photo, U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date.

Residents can call (800) 923-8282 to check if a visitor works for the census.

Residents do not need to be concerned about safety and security, as Census answers can't be used against an individual, and data security is managed by security experts operating at the highest levels. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot release any information that identifies individuals, and anyone who breaks this law faces a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up-to five years in prison.

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