New Mexico city gets grant to help with census work

December 29, 2019 GMT

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A library in eastern New Mexico is one of several dozen around the United States that are receiving grants from the American Library Association to support the 2020 census.

Officials at the Roswell Public Library say the funding will allow them to collaborate with local businesses, the school district and others to provide assistance to the public with filling out their census forms.

The library has a dedicated computer for the public to use to complete the census and other computers that may be used to submit the census form online. Roswell schools and the census committee also will be distributing 3,000 promotional coloring books as part of the effort.

Roswell Public Library Director Enid Costley said the opportunity to work with other organizations will help ensure a more accurate count of the community.

About 41% of state residents live in hard-to-count areas — the largest proportion of any state in the nation, an Associated Press analysis of government data found.

The census determines the allocation of $1.5 trillion in federal spending, and New Mexico officials estimate that a 1% undercount would cost the state more than $700 million in federal aid over a decade.