The Accomack County Board of Supervisors heard a presentation on the upcoming 2020 census at their meeting Wednesday night. Dr. Bill O’Hare of Cape Charles who worked as a professional statistician and has authored a book on the subject emphasized the importance of getting an accurate count. He said that each time someone who lives in the county is not counted in the census, it can cost the county between $10,000 and $20,000 in federal funding over the ten year cycle.
A major problem occurred when the 2000 census count showed an Accomack County population count of 38,500 when the real population at that time was approximately 33,500. It was discovered that an error was made and 5,000 people were reportedly residing at Trails End Campground near Horntown. The 2010 census was much closer to being correct but many still believe the county is losing population when it has actually been fairly stable. Situations like this cause problems in a variety of ways ranging from federal funding dollars to voter redistricting.
O’Hare told the Board that the census count will begin in March of 2020. Four letters will go out to everyone on the list. He said that one good thing is that there will be several jobs in the $15 per hour range will be created in the county during the count.