Harford Ramps Up Census Prep Ahead of 2020 Count

Planning is underway in Harford County for the 2020 Census, which will determine the number of seats each state holds in Congress and how more than $675 billion in federal funds are allocated to states and local communities.


Harford County’s Complete Count Committee (photo courtesy of Harford County Government).

“Harford County residents understand the importance of the census,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “Our response rate in 2010 was high at 81%, but that still meant a loss of nearly $13 million in funding for our county.

“For the 2020 Census, we are planning now to help ensure everyone living here is counted for federal funds that support our roads, schools, fire companies, hospitals, and other vital services,” Glassman said. “These are funds that all of our residents need and deserve.”

According to a Harford County press release:

Although the census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, state and local planning officials are responsible for raising awareness through a Complete Count Committee with an emphasis on reaching hard-to-reach populations. Committee members are drawn from local organizations including government, schools, libraries, nonprofits, and the faith-based community.

The Harford County Complete Count Committee, comprised of volunteers appointed by the county executive, will be co-chaired by Jenny King, deputy director of planning and zoning for Harford County government, and Melynda Velez, executive director of the nonprofit LASOS, which serves the non-English speaking community. The committee held an initial meeting on Oct. 24, and launched a dedicated webpage on the Harford County government website. The webpage hosts outreach materials and other resources to prepare for the 2020 Census this spring.

An accurate census count, or lack thereof, has a lasting effect on counties, particularly when it comes to the distribution of federal funds. An under-counted population may lead to a significant decline in federal funding flowing to county governments or county residents.

At the MACo Winter Conference session, “2020 Census: The Foundation for Our Future,” attendees will learn about state and local resources and best practices to promote a fair and accurate 2020 Census.

The 2019 MACo Winter Conference, Building for the Future,” will be held on December 4-6, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: