For the good of everyone, stand up, be counted

Stand up and be counted — for the good of the place where you live.

We are speaking of the upcoming national Census scheduled for 2020.

To be frank, Lycoming County has been an inadequate participant in the Census, to its detriment. Its non-response rate is 24.1 percent.

Based on the 2010 Census, Old Lycoming Township was downgraded from a Class One township to a Class Two township.

Speaking more broadly, Lycoming County receives federal funds and a multitude of grants for nearly all public services — infrastructure, water, sewer, recreation and more — based in large part on Census numbers. The population count is particularly important in determining the local shares of federal funding for infrastructure projects.

And whatever that population count is for 2020 will stick with municipalities and the county for 10 years.

Early estimates are that the Census will show the U.S. population has increased from 305 million in 2010 to 330 million in 2020.

So if county residents continue their lackluster participation record in the coming Census, the impact on its fair share of federal funds will be even stronger than it was in the past decade.

Responding to the Census has never been easier. This year, people will be able to respond to the Census with a phone, on the internet or through the traditional mail-back response.

About 1,000 Lycoming County residents will be hired to help in the count, which begins next April. Make their job easy and participate willingly in the count of legal residents in our county and region.

Not only is it your civic duty, participation is in your best interests and benefits the community in which you live.

No excuses!