Stevens County Complete Count Committee Chair Caitlin Christenson told the KMRS Community Connection that the State of Minnesota recently released projected undercounts for all the counties. Christenson said she is concerned that Stevens County could be undercounted for the 2020 Census by close to 1900 people. The Census numbers are directly tied to levels of government aid.
“Each person is worth about $2,800 a year (in aid), for 10 years, that’s about $28,000,” Christenson calculated. “And you times that by the 1900, it ends up being $53.2 million that we could be losing out on as a community.”
The series of emergency measures in place make it difficult to get the word out about the Census, she said, as she can’t do public outings. The state had talked about providing a mobile assistance truck to run in the area in April and May, but the future of that is uncertain with social distancing measures in place.
Stevens County’s self-response rate for the Census sits at 34.9 percent, which is 0.5 percent higher than the State rate. By comparison, Big Stone County’s self-response rate is 34.8 percent, Grant’s is 25.7 percent, Pope’s is 28.8 percent, Swift’s is 41.3 percent, and Traverse is at 28.7 percent.