As deadline approaches, LA County reporting lower census response rate

With less than 30 days left to be counted, the concern in California is that some people are not completing the census.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The deadline to complete the census is approaching. With less than 30 days left to be counted, the concern in California is that some people are not responding.

Completing the census can be done several ways: online, by phone or by mail. The forms were sent out months ago.

The self-response rate so far varies widely by county.

Los Angeles County has a current rate of 62.4% compared to 69% back in 2010.

RELATED: California among most states across country with low response rates to 2020 Census
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The 2020 Census is underway but early return numbers are coming back on the low side, sparking a new push to get more people to respond with so much at stake.



Orange County is doing a little better than 10 years ago. It's at 74.7% compared to 71.7%.

"Los Angeles city is the hardest to count city, in the hardest to count county, in the hardest to count state," says Ditas Katague, the director of the California Census.

Under the Constitution, every person in the U.S. needs to be counted in the census.

Seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are re-drawn every 10 years based on changes in the population. It's also used to determine how federal funds are handed out.

"A conservative estimate - it's $1,000 per person, per year, over 10 years. So let's say I forget to put my daughter on the form, that's $10,000 that doesn't come back to the community," Katague explains.

Officials say if you don't fill it out online or mail in the forms, the bureau will have to send out a census worker to your home. In this day of COVID-19, they would have to practice physical distancing and it makes the process less safe and more difficult.
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