By Heather Rash
Hardin County Independent
Hardin County residents can fill out their Census online at the Hardin County Independent in Elizabethtown on Mondays through Thursdays during regular office hours now and throughout the summer. The office may be open some Fridays, but call 618-287-2361 first to make sure. A laptop computer is set up at the front counter. Staff will help residents get set up to begin their self response. It only takes a few minutes.
The Rosiclare Memorial Public Library is also offering this service. Librarian Sharon Wiesemann asks that patrons call the library to set up a time, 618-285-6213 She will bring a laptop computer outside of the library so patrons can complete the self response. The library is open 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
As of Tuesday, May 19, Hardin County had a 2020 Census self-response rate of 18.7% which is devastatingly low, and is the lowest in the whole State. At this point in the Census collection, over 50% of Hardin County’s population should have already responded. Most counties around Hardin County have achieved a response rate of at least 50% or more!
The U.S. Census is a tool used since 1970 to count the U.S. population, but it’s importance does not end there. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year and provide data that will impact the communities in Hardin County for a decade.
In 2010, only 56.7% of Hardin County residents responded. Hardin County lost out on $795,000 worth of funding according to the Southern 7 Health Department. Southern Illinois as a whole lost out on 12.5 million dollars due to lack of response combined in those counties.