Officials Worry Ohio Tornadoes Could Hurt 2020 Census Count | WOSU Radio

Officials Worry Ohio Tornadoes Could Hurt 2020 Census Count

Jul 5, 2019

Tornadoes that destroyed and damaged hundreds of homes in western Ohio are complicating population counts for next year's Census.

The count activities start at the end of January 2020 and Census experts worry about how the Dayton area will fare since the region is still cleaning up from Memorial Day tornadoes.

The Dayton Daily News reports there were 2,236 structures destroyed or left uninhabitable in Montgomery County alone. Many of those structures were homes and apartments, and many of those residents have moved or will move.

"These storms, these tornadoes, will require a change in plans in how the Census Bureau counts the Dayton area," said Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant on the Census.

If a home is not habitable as of April 1, 2020, residents can't be counted there even if they plan to return, Lowenthal said.

Officials said this issue is a top priority for them and that they have been preparing for the count since the natural disaster hit.

The regional Census Bureau says it has hired thousands of employees to respond to the issue and communities across the area have created committees to help obtain accurate counts.