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County census numbers not expected for months

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Local census volunteers say county population numbers aren’t expected for several months yet. (Daily Record File Photo)

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Chaves County probably will not know its population numbers under the 2020 census for at least four and a half more months, according to area officials involved in the local census effort.

“We haven’t seen anything yet,” said Louis Jaramillo, the Chaves County Planning and Zoning director who headed the county awareness and counting efforts for 2020 Roswell and Chaves County Complete Census Count Committee.

The 2020 census website that included the announcement Monday about U.S., state and territory population numbers stated that “high quality” local data needed for legislative redistricting efforts are due to be released Aug. 16. But Jaramillo said he has been told to expect the “certified estimate” by Sept. 15.

Marcos Nava, who spearheaded the entire Complete Count Committee and is the executive director of the Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce, also said he did not have any indication of local population counts.

The Monday numbers indicated that the population of the United States and the District of Columbia is 331,449,281, a 7.4% increase since 2010, which is the second-smallest increase since the census began. The smallest increase was in the 1930s. New Mexico’s population growth is recorded at 2.8%, with a 2020 count totaling 2,117,522.

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Census counts determine federal funding allocations for a wide range of programs, with each person counted in New Mexico bringing about $3,745 a year to local and county governments. They also determine the number of federal and state legislators areas have, help businesses make decisions about where to locate services or offices, and are used by researchers for many different types of studies and reports.