With the 2020 Census less than 30 days from closing, Pinellas County is launching a digital campaign to increase the local response rate and avoid potentially losing billions of dollars for local programs tied to census population data.

As of Sept. 1, the county’s self-response rate was only 65 percent, meaning thousands of residents are still at risk of being undercounted in the 10-year population survey.

Residents can still self-respond by taking the census securely online at www.My2020Census.gov, by phone in English (844-330-2020) or in one of 13 languages.

In addition, census takers are going door-to-door to follow up at homes that haven’t yet responded.

Driving more people to self-respond is the goal behind the Love My Neighborhood Census Challenge.

Elected officials, community leaders, businesses and residents are posting selfies in their neighborhood or workplace with a short message about how the census impacts key local programs with the hashtag #PinellasCensusChallenge.

Facebook users can also show their support by downloading a Census Challenge Profile Frame or learn more at www.pinellascensus.org.

The county will be promoting posts by local residents and sharing others emphasizing the impending census deadline in the coming weeks.

Programs throughout Florida get about $44 billion in federal funding based on data collected in the 2010 Census, according to a study by George Washington University.

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census guides funding for a range of critical programs and services, including healthcare, roads, schools, food assistance and much more.

The count also determines how many seats in the U.S. House of Representatives go to each state.