The Census is not only beneficial to our community, it's mandatory.

Some people joked that the pandemic-induced lockdown in March was one heck of a way to get people to fill out their Census. Obviously, COVID-19 hitting and the distribution of this questionnaire have nothing to do with one another. The timing was just a coincidence. However, I do hope the lessons we've learned about taking care of ourselves during this time have led us to fill out this thing as soon as possible.

See the Census, established in 1970, comes around every 10 years. It an all-call of sorts and can determine where valuable federal assistance funds are distributed. It's also a fun way to change those population numbers on our road signs. I know, "nerd alert."

The 2020 Census was distributed in March of this year. Obviously a lot has happened since then, but your response is still needed. It's also due at the end of September.

Idaho has done a pretty good job in turning in those responses.

The Census has been keeping track of questionnaires being turned in. Our response rate is 68.6 percent. While this isn't the grade I would want to receive on an exam, it is better than the national average. 64.6 percent of the nation has filled out their questionnaire.

Our 2020 response rate is already better than our response rate in 2010, which was 67.1 percent.

You can easily fill out your Census online. In fact, 57.2 percent of respondents in Idaho have chosen that method. It only takes a few minutes and all of the questions are about you so it's not intimidating. You can access the Census online here.