BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Baltimore City Department of Planning is making it count in perhaps the most important year of response in decades.

Marylanders have until September 30 to fill out the 2020 Census, which Austin Davis, of the Baltimore City Department of Planning, said is more important than ever.

“These census counts are crucial to getting our city and our communities the funding they need for things like healthcare, temporary assistance, unemployment,” he said.

Davis also said it’s important for the number of potential coronavirus vaccines.

Every Marylander uncounted represents thousands of dollars in unassessed federal funding over the next 10 years.

It’s why they’re in Cherry Hill incentivizing residents to fill it out, and earn prizes. Face masks, water bottles, all with the spin of a wheel.

Tracey Keyser is the Senior Vice President of the Office of Resident Services.

“Historically, in the City of Baltimore, low income communities are historically undercounted,” Keyser said. “So, we wanted to make sure to change that trend.”

In Anne Arundel County, the message is clear from Harry Freeman, Chair of the Complete Chair Committee.

About $1,821 per-person, per-year for 10 years is what’s attached per-individual who participates in the census.

Baltimore City is at 54.6 percent self response rate, which is on par with numbers a decade ago. The State is ranked 10th nationwide.

Partnership coordinator with the U.S. Census Bureau, Julius Maina, said awareness is improving.

“For the first time ever, people know what the census is, they know why it matters and they’re asking questions,” Maina said.

Questions that can only be answered if you participate.

The city prefers you fill out the census online. It takes less than 10 minutes. Click here for more information. 

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