Hillsboro City Council member Patty Day, who is also heading up census efforts for the city this year, told The Times-Gazette on Tuesday that Hillsboro alone probably lost more than $24 million in potential federal funding simply because of the refusal of some to complete the census forms a decade ago.
During a U.S. Census Bureau information and training meeting held last Wednesday at the Hi-Tech Center, census partnership specialist Samuel Knight put Hillsboro’s potential funding loss into perspective when he said that the Census Bureau reports that every person not counted resulted in a $2,000 annual funding loss.
That figure multiplied by the 10 years it takes for the next census to occur resulted in $20,000 in lost governmental funds that Hillsboro and Highland County would have been eligible for per person, according to Knight’s report.
A handout provided at the Wednesday meeting was taken from the U.S. Census Bureau Planning Database and Response Outreach Area Mapper, which broke Highland County down into nine separate areas based on community population.
The city of Hillsboro was listed as being under reported by 18.4 percent, with the remaining segments throughout Highland County ranging from a low of 16.3 percent in the tract containing the Mowrystown, Buford, Dodsonville and Hoagland areas to a high of 20.7 percent in the Stringtown, Paint Creek Lake, south Greenfield and New Petersburg region.
Day said that based on the 2010 census, Hillsboro’s population was 6,605.
“If we under reported by 18.4 percent, then our true population in 2010 was plus or minus 7,800,” she said. “Over 10 years the additional 1,195 individuals who did not complete the census would be equal to $23,900,000 of potential lost funding we could have been considered for.”
She said that alone reinforces the importance of a complete count for both the city and the county.
Highland County Census Co-chair Sue Smith said the Hi-Tech Center has been reserved for the next Census 2020 meeting, now scheduled for Saturday Feb. 8 at 10 a.m.
She said that participants planning to attend should enter the building through the BMV door.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.