After a Supreme Court order earlier this week, the 2020 census count is set to end the night of Thursday, Oct. 15. This, after multiple changes to the deadline in the past few weeks. Ending the count earlier than expected has increased concern about ensuring an accurate count in Connecticut.
Prior to this week’s deadline announcement, the Waterbury Complete Count Committee was working on a series of events to reach residents, said MaLisa Blasini, Waterbury's census community outreach coordinator.
“When we keep changing the dates, it leaves an additional discomfort of trust.” said Blasini.
She said many people in Waterbury are overwhelmed with the constantly shifting census deadline.
“To have a day shorter, that just doesn’t help our communities in getting the services and resources that they are going to need,” she said.
Blasini said Waterbury has been undercounted in the past, which affected the number of people who were able to get funding for things like energy assistance. In 2010, 21,000 people applied for energy assistance, according to Blasini.
“Only about 18,000 were able to get it. So that was a deficit of 3,000.” she said.
Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz urged residents to complete the census before it’s too late. Currently, Connecticut has a 99.9% enumeration rate, but parts of Hartford, Bridgeport, Waterbury and New Haven are still undercounted.
“Approximately 22 percent of our population lives in hard-to-count areas, and those are generally in our urban areas,” said Bysiewicz.
Connecticut residents can complete the census online at 2020census.gov until midnight Thursday, Oct. 15.