Complete the census — it’s critically important

Complete the census — it’s critically important

We, your Windham County Legislators, are writing to urge you to complete the census questionnaire.

Windham County, with a high number of engaged and active citizens, currently has an embarrassingly low response rate of 45 percent. This is one of the lowest response rates of all the 14 counties in Vermont!

By contrast, Chittenden County, which includes the city of Burlington, has the highest rate, at 72 percent.

Why is it important to get an accurate and comprehensive census count?

The census determines the amount of federal funding that comes to our state and community. This funding affects many public services, such as schools, hospitals, and health care.

The census also affects representation in Congress and the delineation of legislative districts in the state.

By some estimates, Vermont could lose $4,000 per person per year from a census undercount. If we estimate the population of Windham Count at 40,000 people, and only 50 percent register for the census, then the county could lose $80 million per year each year in a 10-year period. This is a more-than-significant loss.

People who have concerns about sharing their information should know that federal law protects your responses. Census Bureau employees face fines of $250,000 or imprisonment for wrongful disclosure. No law enforcement agency can access your personal information. The data collected can be used only for statistical purposes.

You can easily complete the census online at However you can also respond by mail or by phone by following directions on the website.

If you don't have access to the internet you can just call 844-330-2020. Customer service representatives can also help direct you to language support if needed.

Census workers are also beginning to restart door knocking on the doors of those who have not completed the form. These in-person interviews will end on Sept. 30.

Responding to the census is a civic duty. Please do so now, if you haven't already. And please contact any one of us if you need assistance.

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