RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas – The public has been told about the importance of completing this year’s census. Due to the pandemic and the money counties can receive because of it, show how big the census impact really is.

“As our community grows and the county grows so do the resources that are needed to cover these people,” said Nestor Lopez, Hidalgo County economic development analyst.

Lopez said the 2020 census is a crucial part in providing services during emergency situations, and during the pandemic we’re current facing, the effects of the census data are clear.

“Everything that is done through the government is usually done based upon census numbers, and we’ve never seen it hurt us more than what we’ve seen within the last 60 days,” said Cameron County Judge, Eddie Treviño.

Cameron County has an official population of just over 437,000 people, a number the county believes is undercounted.

Counties with 500,000 people or more got first dibs at federal money to recover from the pandemic, leaving Cameron County on the outside looking in.

“All that money is being made available to higher populated urban areas, we’re not getting because we’re not getting counted,” Treviño said. “So, we have an opportunity to address that and fix that but we only get one chance every 10 years.” 

Both Lopez and Treviño stress the importance of having an accurate count during emergency situations to help the communities in need. 

The new deadline to participate in the census is October 31, 2020.

For more information head to the census website to get counted.