SANTA FE (KSMX)- The suspension of field operations by the U.S. Census Bureau in response to COVID-19 has left nearly 18 percent of New Mexico without the ability to easily participate in the 2020 Census. This has resulted in artificially lower-than-average response rates and poses yet another burden for our state to overcome for a complete count in the decennial effort.
“New Mexico is shouldering a disproportionate share of the national burden when it comes to the impact that COVID-19 has had on the census,” Olivia Padilla-Jackson, state finance secretary and the chair of New Mexico’s Complete Count Commission, stated in a pr4ess release. “When you consider that so many New Mexican’s haven’t even received an invitation to participate, it’s no surprise we lag in responses.”
As of mid-April, 37 percent of New Mexico households had responded to the census, compared to a national average of 48 percent.
Responding online or by phone without a unique Census ID is not an ideal option for some as it can be difficult, especially for households with a non-city style address.
The decennial Census helps determine the allocation of billions of dollars in federal funding. Research suggests that each New Mexico resident not counted results in a loss of $3,700 per resident, per year.