PA Wilds Center encourages residents to complete 2020 U.S. Census to ensure rural Pennsylvania is counted
Residents of the Pennsylvania Wilds are encouraged to complete the 2020 U.S. Census to ensure that rural Pennsylvania receives adequate resources and representation in the coming decade.
For the first time, the census can be completed by phone, by mail or online. However, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, lack of internet and broadband connectivity poses challenges for much of rural America. “Only 65% of counties where 100% of the population is in a rural area have a subscription to any sort of broadband internet,” the Census Bureau notes.
“A complete and accurate count is critical to ensuring our rural communities’ voices are heard in government, and that we get our fair share of resources,” said Ta Enos, Founder + CEO of the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., a nonprofit that spans 13 counties of north-central and northwestern Pennsylvania.
Data collected by the U.S. Census every 10 years is used to determine how resources and representation are allocated across the country. For example, the census determines the number of seats each state gets in the House of Representatives. (Pennsylvania used to have 19 Congressional representatives, but we lost one following the 2010 Census.) In addition, information collected in the census provides data for redrawing legislative districts, and it directs how resources are allocated across the country, including how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be spent annually for the next decade. Those federal funds support many important programs and services for Pennsylvanians, including in healthcare, food security, education, transportation, housing, community development, support for families, and more.
According to the PA State Association of Boroughs, “Pennsylvania’s communities get $26.8 billion annually from just our 16 largest federally funded programs. That’s about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year. These numbers may change depending on our 2020 U.S. Census count.”
“This is particularly important for rural regions, like the Pennsylvania Wilds, which faces population decline, higher-than-average unemployment and poverty rates, and a lower-than-average household median income,” Enos said. “Housing status, citizenship status, age, and gender do not matter. If you live in Pennsylvania, it matters that you are counted.”
For more information on completing the 2020 U.S. Census, visit www.pa.gov/census.
Looking for materials to promote the census to your network?
ABOUT THE PA WILDS CENTER
The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. (PA Wilds Center) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that strengthens and inspires communities in the Pennsylvania Wilds. The Pennsylvania Wilds, one of the state’s 11 official tourism regions and 8 Conservation Landscapes, covers about a quarter of the Commonwealth and includes the counties of Warren, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Lycoming, Clinton, Cameron, Elk, Forest, Clarion, Jefferson, Clearfield and the northern part of Centre county. For more information on the PA Wilds Center’s programs and services, please visit www.pawildscenter.org.