The upcoming US Census will more accurately reflect the make-up of North Carolina’s military communities thanks to a decision by the US Census Bureau to count deployed military at their latest base address.
“Getting an accurate count of how many people live in North Carolina means all the residents of our state are better served,” Cooper said Thursday. “The deployed military and the communities that they call home deserve to be counted, especially as they serve our country.”
On Wednesday the Census Bureau announced it had adopted North Carolina’s recommendation to recognize the difference between short- and long-term deployments, and count the short-term deployments at their latest or base address.
The change will benefit North Carolina’s military communities as those areas will have better access to funding and services to benefit their residents after the 2020 Census count.
Almost a decade ago, servicemembers from Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg were deployed to Iraq and Haiti on emergency deployments in 2010, resulting in an artificially low Census count in military communities such as Jacksonville, Fayetteville, and Onslow County.
Since federal funding and services are tied to Census counts, those communities were regarded as having lower populations for a decade. Thanks to this change, the actual number of short-term deployed military will be counted.
For example, Onslow County officials estimate 20,000 people went uncounted in the 2010 Census. Local government leaders and state officials have advocated giving credit to North Carolina’s military communities ever since.
“I commend the city and county officials who worked with our state census liaison to make this change,” Cooper said. “As we work with cities and counties on verifying residences, it’s important that everyone counts.”
Information from the Census is vital to the future of all communities in North Carolina, Cooper said. The 2020 Census numbers will:
~Determine the size of North Carolina’s representation in Congress and our state is likely to gain another seat;
~Bring tax dollars back to our communities – over $16 billion in estimated federal funding or $1,623 per person in our state;
~Support planning and services to our people for the next 10 years as local businesses and governments use Census data to serve the needs of our population; and
~Act as a starting point for the State Demographer’s annual population estimates, which the state uses to determine tax revenues with local governments.