Valdosta preparing for U.S. 2020 census

Valdosta preparing for U.S. 2020 census
Valdosta preparing for U.S. 2020 census
Posted at 4:38 PM, Feb 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-11 16:38:00-05

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) - The US census may be over a year away, but the city of Valdosta is starting now to make sure people in the community know how to get counted.  

Valdosta city leaders believe their city's population could increase by 6 to 10,000 since the last census in 2010.  

While that might not seem like a huge jump, Ashlyn Becton, Valdosta's Public Information Officer, says it could mean a major difference in what the city receives in funding from the federal or state government. 

"We apply for different things like city BG funding which helps with housing rehab, stuff like that," said Becton. "With the count going up, we could possible get more funding and that would be just funding for our community to make it better." 

The city is hiring volunteers who will go door-to-door to inform the public about the census beginning in August. While it might seem easy to get every person accounted for, it's not.

Some people have never responded to a census questionnaire, others, may have forgotten how to complete one.

One common mistake is not counting everyone in your household. 

"Just make sure you are counting everyone who there as a whole, rather than just someone who is just there during the day," said Becton. 

One major change with the 2020 census, the government is attempting to get most people to complete the form online. 

"People will receive a postcard in the mail inviting them to go online with a unique identifier and fill out their form online," said Matt Martin, with the Planning and Zoning Administration in Valdosta. 

That postcard will be sent in March of 2020. For those who do not have internet access, you can call an 800 number to have the form sent by mail. 

If you don't respond to the census on your own, workers will be going door to door to follow-up from April until July.  

By December 31, 2020, all census information will be delivered to the president.