Every ten years, the United States counts its population in efforts to fairly allocate government resources. Although every citizen is encouraged to respond to the Census, some people avoid participating because they are unaware of its importance, or are concerned about how their answers will be used. If you’d like to know more in-depth information about the 2020 Census, check out these five facts.
- Why Is The Census Important?
The data provided in the 2020 Census helps both local and federal governing bodies make decisions. House of Representatives seats, legislative districts, and government funding is determined based on the information the Census provides. Many vital programs, such as Medicaid and Head Start, also rely on Census data to fund their efforts. Additionally, community necessities (ex: hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, etc.) are dispensed based on Census reports.
2. When Will It Happen?
Although data collection started in January in some remote locations, for most citizens the Census count begins March 12th. By April 1 (Census Day), every U.S. home will have received a 2020 Census invitation. April also marks the month that Census takers begin traveling to college campuses, senior establishments, and other community living centers to interview residents. The next three months will be used to visit addresses that have yet to respond to the Census. In December, all the information collected will be sent to both the President and Congress. Redistricting changes will go into effect March of 2021.
3. Which Methods Can I Use to Respond?
You can respond to the 2020 Census in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. If you live in an area where residents are being interviewed, you can respond by speaking to a Census taker in-person.
4. Is My Information Safe?
Census workers take an oath of confidentiality and agree to protect your data for life. The law also requires that Census data collection and storage abides by stringent rules that prioritize your privacy. Although the Census’ quantifiable data is passed along to the government, your anonymity is still preserved.
5. How Can I Help?
There are plenty of ways to help with this year’s Census. Here are a few:
- Apply to be a Census taker
- Fill out your Census survey as accurately and promptly as possible
- Encourage other households to complete their Census
The United States Census is essential to your community’s resources on a local and federal level. Participating in the survey is an amazing way to make sure that the neighborhood you know and love gets the support it needs. Review these five 2020 Census facts and make sure to be counted when the time comes.