TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo's participation in the census is down this year, which could have a big impact down the road.
The count happens every ten years and determines the number of people living in a certain area. That count is then applied to the amount of federal funding a city receives.
“It takes literally five minutes to do; you can do it by phone, you can go online, if you still have it you can mail in the form you have,” Toledo's director of communication Ignazio Messina said.
City officials and those working with the census want to remind everyone that filling it out is strictly for an accurate count of residents. It is safe to do and is only about seven questions long.
Right now, the city of Toledo is only at about 57% participation in this year's census. Lucas County as a whole is not doing much better, with just under 64% participation.
“We can do better! Filling out the census is so critically important if you go to the census website there are literally nine pages, single-spaced of things for which funding is generated,” Messina said.
The deadline to fill out the census is September 30, but officials are encouraging residents to do it as soon as possible.