Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Oct. 21

Navajo Nation 2020 Census resumes field operations with less than 1% response so far

A sign marks Navajo Drive as Sentinel Mesa, homes and other structures in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah on the Navajo Reservation, stand in the distance. Even before the pandemic, people living in rural communities and on reservations were among the toughest groups to count in the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

A sign marks Navajo Drive as Sentinel Mesa, homes and other structures in Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah on the Navajo Reservation, stand in the distance. Even before the pandemic, people living in rural communities and on reservations were among the toughest groups to count in the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — The United State Census Bureau resumed its 2020 Census Update Leave Operation on the Navajo Nation June 11.

As of June 10, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the national self-response rate, which is the percentage of people across the entire country that have answered the 2020 Census questionnaire, averaged 60.8 percent. However, the self-response rate for the Navajo Nation was 0.9 percent.

“We, as Navajo Nation leadership, must stress the importance of the 2020 Census to every Navajo household,” said 24th Navajo Nation Council Speaker Seth Damon. “Answering the 2020 Census questionnaire by mail, phone or via the internet will ensure every Navajo person is counted once, at the right time and at the right place.”

Why is the Census important?

The U.S. Census Bureau performs a census, or an official count, of all people in the country every 10 years. The results of the Census are published at the end of the year and are used by both government agencies and private organizations to determine funding and investment opportunities for the next decade.

The 2020 Census will also provide important information on age, household size and more that is used to make important decisions by policymakers. The Update Leave Operation is an important step in ensuring every housing unit on the Navajo Nation has the information to properly respond to the 2020 Census.

In particular, Navajo leaders stress the importance of answering Question No. 9 on the questionnaire, which asks for individual tribal affiliation. Those identifying as a member of the Navajo Nation are encouraged to respond with the word “Navajo.” Anyone of a mixed-race heritage is encouraged to use as much space to list each tribal or racial affiliation.

“Our main priority is to get every Navajo person counted by responding to the 2020 Census questionnaire as soon as they receive the information,” said Speaker Damon.

The Council encourages members of the Navajo Nation to respond to the census in order to secure full community funding for future generations. According to federal law, any personal information collected cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits.

More information about the 2020 Census can be found online at 2020census.gov.

Information provided by the Office of the Navajo Nation Speaker

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