You Count Here: Census 2020 counts continue with barracks residents

29 Jul 2020 | Lance Cpl. Isaiah Gomez Marine Corps Installations East

Since 1790, the U.S. has counted its population every 10 years to help determine how federal funding is allocated to communities across the states. This funding translates into health clinics, fire departments, schools, and roadways. This year’s census enumeration date was delayed from April 1, 2020 to July 22, 2020. The deadline for any groups living in transitory quarters (i.e., barracks) is Sept. 3, 2020.

In an effort to count each and every service member on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River, unit supervisors attended a virtual census brief at the John A. Lejeune Hall on MCB Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, July 22, 2020.

Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decennial census has implemented digital formats for an accurate count of service members living in the barracks. Each unit census coordinator will track every service member through a digital spreadsheet with the names and information of the service members who reside in the barracks. Once completed and verified, the units will submit the spreadsheet to the Marine Corps Installations East-Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune community plans liaison officer.

“You don’t need to get a group together,” said Tim McCurry, the community plans liaison officer with MCIEAST-MCB Camp Lejeune. “This process negates personal contact and allows social distancing.”

The spreadsheet will be the standard for all units, however units can conduct the census with their own COVID-19 mitigation practices, according to McCurry.

“No matter if you live on or off base, you are a part of Onslow County,” said Glenn Hargett, assistant city manager for Jacksonville, North Carolina. “The census does not change your home of record, and it is important to complete it because it allocates funds for the future.”

As conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and mandated by the Constitution, the census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories every 10 years.

“The importance of the census is with the funding associated with the demographics of the population, we want to make sure the money is going to the right places,” McCurry said. “Although it’s too broad to identify specific projects, we do know that funding from the census applies to infrastructure projects such as schools and roadways.”

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II Marine Expeditionary Force