BATON ROUGE, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards is urging more Louisiana residents to respond to the 2020 U.S. Census.
He says the state's participation rate is among the lowest in the nation.
About 56% of Louisiana households have responded to the census online, by mail or by phone so far. That's compared to a national rate topping 61%.
Edwards says Louisiana ranks 44th in the nation and last in the Deep South in its participation rate.
Census data determines how many members of Congress a state has and is used to divvy up significant sums of federal dollars that flow to those states.
To participate in the 2020 Census, click here. The process takes about 10 minutes and is completely safe.
Field operations for the 2020 census were halted in mid-March as governors and mayors issued stay-at-home orders to stop the spread of the new coronavirus.
After shutting down field operations for a month and a half because of the pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau began restarting some work in the field for the 2020 census on a limited basis in early May.
Now, workers are again dropping off 2020 census packets at the front doors of homes that don't receive their mail there or the mail delivery information for that household can't be verified, the Census Bureau said.
About 5% of households are counted in this way. Workers are ordered to follow coronavirus safety protocols.