SANTA FE — The New Mexico Indian Affairs Department reminds constituents of the importance of filling out the 2020 Census before the fast-approaching deadline.
The agency this year partnered with I Count NM, the New Mexico Native Census Coalition, and the national nonprofit Fair Count to ensure tribal communities in New Mexico are counted accurately in the U.S. Census.
“With many logistical challenges in the often-rural areas, it remains critical that we encourage our tribal communities to take part in the census before the Sept. 30 deadline,” Secretary Lynn Trujillo said.
New Mexico receives more than $7 billion each year through federal programs, which benefit the entire community: healthcare, nutrition, highways, education, housing, jobs and more that allocate funds on per capita basis.
An undercount negatively impacts tribal communities and puts the state at risk of missing out on federal funding and political representation for the next 10 years.
“Please get counted,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. “It’s simple. It’s secure. It means billions of dollars in investments for our state for the next decade.”
“Native Americans have always been severely undercounted in the once-a-decade census, it is vital that we work together to ensure an accurate count of our tribal communities before time runs out,” Secretary Trujillo said. “We can shape the future of our communities by responding to the census today.”
“Data experts estimate each person not counted in New Mexico is a loss of $50,000 over ten years. If we have an undercount, New Mexico Native Americans could lose $557 million in funding for our communities,” said Ahtza D. Chavez, Executive Director of the New Mexico Native Census Coalition. “Also, we currently have six Native American state House districts and three state Senate where the Native American population is over 50%. If Native Americans are undercounted, we could lose these districts at the state and local levels.”
Several tribes in New Mexico have made progress in their response rates so far:
- Pueblo of Jemez – 61.1%
- Pueblo of Santo Domingo – 56.7%
- Pueblo of Santa Ana – 55.9%
- Pueblo of Cochiti – 56.4%
- Pueblo of Zia – 56.2%
The Indian Affairs Department is working to “get-out-the-count” in tribal communities through a partnership with the national nonprofit, Fair Count. Together, IAD and Fair Count are contacting individual households in tribal communities throughout the state to encourage them to take the census.
To ensure that the number of respondents increases it is essential that we continue to encourage all tribal citizens to respond by the deadline of Sept. 30, 2020. You can respond:
- Online at my2020census.gov and use the code that you received from the Census Bureau in the mail.
- By phone, toll-free at 844.330.2020.
- Or by returning your form free by mail, using the 12-digit ID number.
Visit www.iad.state.nm.us/census-dashboard for a snapshot of how our tribal communities are responding to the 2020 census.