You might say it makes sense, for us, to fill out our census form.


That’s one way of expressing the efforts of officials who are reminding residents that the 2020 U.S. Census can provide the county with benefits that are not necessarily obvious.


Bianca Gamez, a U.S. Census Bureau senior media specialist based in Dallas, described the process as getting a "snapshot of the population," adding, "We want to encourage everyone to respond now."


Gamez noted that the data can translate into increased money and power for the county, as well as the school district through federal funding.


"It is used every day to solve problems around town — housing, emergencies, schools, roads, hospitals," Gamez said.


On top of that, it’s quicker and easier than you may realize.


"It’s simple, it’s safe, it’s easy, and it’s secure and confidential," Gamez said. "It helps your area get its fair share of funding, money and power."


The deadline for collection of the census data is set for Sept. 30, 2020. To fill in the data gaps of households that have not responded, census field workers were dispatched starting in August. The census field workers will carry an official photo identification lanyard so they can easily be recognized. Residents are welcome to inspect the ID upon request.


In most cases it should only take about 10 minutes to complete, she said.


In addition to returning the census form that you received in the mail, you can also opt to fill out the information online (https://2020census.gov/en.html), or call 844-330-2020 (for Spanish speakers call 844-468-2020) and complete the process over the phone.


The census website states, "Census results shape the future of communities, as census data informs how billions of dollars in federal funds are distributed for health clinics, school lunch programs, disaster recovery initiatives, and other critical programs and services for the next 10 years."


The website indicated that as of Sept. 1, the self-response rate for Somervell County was 51.1 percent.