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The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) and Alabama Counts! launched today a census participation competition — deemed the Alabama Census Bowl — among 32 counties throughout Alabama with low self-response rates. The competition will last for four weeks, ending Sept. 30, the final day that households across the state and nation can participate in the 2020 Census. Winning counties can receive up to $65,000 to benefit their public school systems.

Counties will compete in a March Madness-style, head-to-head challenge, with counties facing off against others in a weekly bracket system — with 16 counties in the East bracket and 16 in the West bracket. Only the counties with the biggest increase in self-response rates for that week will advance.

“We are close to the final buzzer on Census 2020, and the Alabama Census Bowl is an excellent way to drive our state’s self-response rate up, all while benefitting public

schools,” Alabama Counts! chairman and ADECA director Kenneth Boswell said.

Census Bowl winners will receive monetary rewards based on final event standings.

Elite eight runners-up will receive $20,000 each; final four runners-up will receive

$30,000 each; second place will receive $45,000; and the overall Census Bowl Champion will receive a total of $65,000 to benefit its public school systems. Prizes will be awarded in October.

“This is a unique way for counties to raise money for their schools, which can help with programs and projects benefitting deserving Alabama students,” Boswell said. “The grants can be used toward things like new technology, supplies or materials for classrooms.”

Alabama counties set to participate in the Census Bowl include Baldwin,

Barbour, Bibb, Bullock, Butler, Cherokee, Choctaw, Conecuh, Coosa, Crenshaw,

Clarke, Dallas, DeKalb, Greene, Hale, Henry, Lamar, Lowndes, Macon, Marengo,

Monroe, Perry, Pike, Randolph, Russell, Sumter, Talladega, Tallapoosa, Walker,

Washington, Wilcox and Winston. The 32 counties selected were those with the lowest census self-response rates based on the July 24 self-response data provided by the U.S

Census Bureau.

For more information and to view the official bracket, visit alabama2020census.com/census-bowl.