BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County residents have almost reached the final 2010 Census count percentage with several months to go in the 2020 Census process. As of Wednesday, some 77.2 percent of residents were counted compared with 77.5 percent counted in 2010. Statewide, the average is currently a little over 45 percent for 2020.
Los Alamos County Councilor David Izraelevitz reported to fellow councilors Tuesday evening on information from the County’s Complete Count Committee noting that important canvassing is currently going on.
Izraelevitz noted that the Los Alamos County count rate is one of the highest rates of any county in the United States and that residents should be proud of that.
“On the other hand that also means that 20 percent of our County even with this excellent response rate still has not responded to the census. That means there’s still a long ways to go before every individual is counted,” he said. “I want to take this opportunity to really promote that to our friends and neighbors to make sure that they respond.”
He said thousands and thousands of dollars are on the table and that a lot of federal programs are distributed to states and communities essentially proportional to the population of each community.
“Thousands of dollars will be lost for each individual that is not counted,” Izraelevitz said.
Izraelevitz noted sadly that Rio Arriba County has had a lot of difficulties because a very high percentage of their residents do not have delivery of mail to their homes but use post office boxes which is not a way that the census does its canvassing.
“For that reason a very large percentage of Rio Arriba County has not been counted yet. They are waiting for the person to person canvassing to start up again. The census bureau has extended the time for doing door-to-door canvassing and they are at a little bit of a hiatus until that begins so that they can expend their marketing dollars for advertisement and so forth toward that end,” he said.
Los Alamos County has contributed funding to both the Town of Taos and the City of Espanola Rio Arriba County to assist with their counts under an initiative introduced by Izraelevitz and supported by the Los Alamos County Council.
As of Wednesday, a little over 8 percent of Rio Arriba County residents had been counted. The final count in the 2010 census was only 41.9 percent.