The Puerto Rico Bankers Association called on citizens to fulfill their duty to respond to the 2020 Census, “as soon as possible.”
The data collected is crucial for the distribution of federal funds for the areas of education, hospitals, highways, public works and other essential programs.
“We join the effort of several local organizations to orient citizens about their obligation to complete the census,” said Zoimé Álvarez-Rubio, executive vice president of the trade group.
“A low participation [rate] by Puerto Rico residents has been reported, and this could result in the loss of millions of federal funds for our communities. There’s still time to complete it. It’s an easy and fast process, and the information provided by citizens is protected,” Álvarez-Rubio said.
“The ABPR and its member banks are joining the ‘Census Day’ initiative that will take place Aug. 20, to urge citizens to complete the form,” she said.
The U.S. Constitution orders a population census every 10 years to count people living in the United States and its territories. This count is used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support will be distributed to states, territories, and communities each year.
The Chairman of the Puerto Rico Institute of Statistics’ board, Economist Nicolás Muñoz, said late last month that if 25% of the population does not respond to the survey, Puerto Rico end up with a headcount of less than 3 million residents and could receive 25% less federal funds, which would be equivalent to $5 billion annually or $50 billion in 10 years, if an average allocation of $20 billion annually is used as an example.