Moore: The U.S. Census needs you

Earl Moore, the U.S. Census coordinator for Chester County, brought some compelling reasons to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census: 1,500 of them to be exact.

That’s the average amount, $1,500 per every person in the county that is counted by the census – a total of $15,000 per person for every 10 years the census is in effect.

“For every person we lose in the census count, we lose $1,500 a year, or $15,000 over a 10-year period,” said Moore. He said Chester County does not record any births, because there isn’t any obstetric facility here in the county, so that is some data that is lost.

Despite this, during the last census, the county did a good job bringing up the percentage of participation, from 60% in the year 2000 to 75% in 2010.

“In 2010, that represented $10,000 a person. That was a considerable amount of money that we were able to obtain for the county. Our goal this time around is to maintain that level of participation, or better that 75%,” Moore said.

Moore, who served as county coordinator during the 2010 census, made a presentation to the Fort Lawn Town Council at their October meeting, asking them to get on board with encouraging their citizens to participate in the U.S. Census. He also asked the council to approve a resolution establishing a 2020 Complete Count Committee. Fort Lawn is the first Chester County municipality to sign on to this agreement.

He said Fort Lawn is one of the only municipalities in the county who have been following the directions of the U.S. Census Bureau – Chester County has agreed to follow the directions but as of now, no other municipality has agreed to do so – yet.

“What do we want to do? We want to make sure everybody gets out and gets counted. How do we do that? You, mayor, you on the council, we have to make sure everybody understands we’re not trying to get in their business; everything the census obtains from citizens is confidential,” he said.

The Complete Count Committee will be made up of the administrators of the county municipalities, Chester County department heads, other community leaders and has the cooperation of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, the Medical University of South Carolina and the utilities in the county.

“Our goal is to improve that 75%,” Moore said.

Much of his case for participation in the 2020 Census was actually made for him as earlier in the meeting, council was briefed by Mayor John Rumford on the federal grants they had applied for and been awarded, such as the $l million grant to study the town’s sewer system and USDA Rural development grants for a new police vehicle, a new vehicle for Public Works and for the improvements at the Fort Lawn Community Center.

“I heard the mayor mention the million-dollar grant earlier. That grant that you got came from the Census reports. The money you obtained came from the data collected by the Census – they collect that data and they put it together to determine how much money different municipalities, the state and the government gets.”

“That’s roads, that’s education for our children, that’s your sewer that you’re working on. That’s the grant for that truck you are talking about,” he said.

Moore added that the Census Bureau was seeking census workers for this 2020 Census. Workers can make between $18-$26 an hour. Interested jobseekers should apply at

By Brian Garner, Staff Reporter with The News & Reporter