Less than 17 percent of Panama City Beach residents have responded to the 2020 Census and local officials are urging a greater participation. Residents should have received Census forms in the mail in mid-March.
"The city has grown so much over the last 10 years," said Mayor Mike Thomas. "Federal monies and some state monies are divided based on the latest Census numbers so an accurate count should increase our share of funds coming in to us. We would appreciate everyone taking the time to compete the Census to enhance our area's share of money."
The City lags behind Panama City, Lynn Haven, Parker, Callaway and Springfield in its citizen response rate. Of all cities, Lynn Haven has the greatest response in the county, at 36.2 percent. Bay County overall has a 27.5 percent response rate, compared to 37.6 percent in Okaloosa County, 19.1 in Walton County and 19.8 percent in Gulf County.
Florida has a response rate of 40.1 percent, slightly behind the national response of 41.3 percent. You can follow the response rate for the city, county, state and U.S. by clicking here.
For the first time ever, residents can respond to the Census online. Go to my2020census.gov to complete the form. You may also respond by telephone by calling (844) 330-2020. Phone lines are open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Central time. Those who do not respond by a certain time will received a paper questionnaire. It can be returned in the envelope provided.
The every 10 year count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire — online, by phone, or by mail — between March 12-20.
The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Public Information Officer Debbie Ward can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (850) 233-5100.