The U.S. Census Bureau finalized a rule change for the 2020 census that would require the Bureau to count all deployed service members at the base or port in which they resided prior to deployment and U.S. Senator Rand Paul says it will benefit communities surrounding Fort Campbell.
Officials at the Christian County Chamber of Commerce say the Bureau’s previous method of counting soldiers at their city of residence when they enlisted resulted in 2010 census data that did not properly represent the populations of Hopkinsville, Oak Grove and Christian County.
While the region around Fort Campbell had grown greatly since the 2000 census, the 2010 census did not accurately reflect this growth due to the policy on counting deployed service members.
Senator Paul began working on a fix when the chamber and other local citizens came to him for help several years ago.
When legislation didn’t make it through Congress due to what Senator Paul calls “turf wars,” he began advocating for the Census Bureau to make the rule change.
Senator Paul says the victory shows progress can be made when legislators and citizens work together for a common cause.
He says Hopkinsville and Christian County will see real-world economic benefits from the census data being properly collected.
Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks says in a news release that, “This simple change ensures military families are counted in the communities, like Hopkinsville, that work tirelessly to support soldiers and their families.”
Chamber President and CEO Kelli Pendleton says, “To have our soldiers counted at the installation where they are stationed during a deployment has a large economic impact on our region,” and she calls it a victory for the region and state.