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ADOT says completing 2020 Census important for Arizona infrastructure

(Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation is urging people to complete their 2020 U.S. Census form due to the survey’s impact on federal funding for construction, transit and more in the state.

The decennial census aims to count the entire population of the country every ten years and asks questions of people in homes and group living situations. These questions include how many people occupy a home, and the age, sex and race of each person.

Every home in Arizona should have received an invitation to complete the census by April 1. It can be done by mail, phone or online.

Information collected from the forms directs more than $675 billion per year in federal funds for state infrastructure.

More than $20.5 billion in federal funding, nearly $3,000 per person, is allocated to Arizona each year for transportation, community centers, housing, medical services and more, according to AZCensus2020.gov.

“An undercount could result in a direct loss of millions of dollars over the next decade,” Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism, said in a press release. “By responding to the Census, we can preserve the outstanding quality of life Arizona offers and plan for our future.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation authorized nearly $737 million in federal funding for Arizona during the fiscal year 2019, with much of that going toward programs improving the national highway system, supporting metropolitan planning and surface transportation and addressing congestion mitigation and air quality, according to the release.

Nearly $100 million in funding also went to local governments and metropolitan planning organizations.

The federal share is more than 90 percent for most highway, road and street projects in Arizona, according to the release, while also contributing significantly to public transit.

“The various programs and allocation formulas are complex, but the theme is simple: You count when it comes to the 2020 Census and its importance to Arizona’s state and local transportation systems,” John Halikowski, ADOT director, said in the release. “That’s one more reason why participating helps ensure a brighter future for you and every other Arizonan.”

1.3 million people in Arizona have responded to the census as of Friday, which stands at 41.9 percent of households with 37.9 percent completing the survey online.

Nationally, 44.5 percent of households have completed the survey.

The Census Bureau extended the completion deadline to August 14 instead of the originally planned date of July 31 due to the coronavirus outbreak, and suspended field operations through April 15.

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