With our new “2020 vision”, it’s time to take a detailed look at how many people live in our nation, states, territories, and local jurisdictions. The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution, and occurs every 10 years to provide a “snapshot” of the U.S. population. The 2020 Census will count every person living in the United states and five U.S. Territories, providing critical data to support our communities. Every person living in the United States is required by law to participate in the census, regardless of legal status.
The first U.S. Census took place in 1790. When looking at historic U.S. Census data, it is important to remember that the way we count people (particularly Native Americans and enslaved people) has changed as our nation has progressed and the rights of citizenship have been expanded.
At the municipal level, census data help us plan for the future and better serve our residents based on population changes, and also influences some funding sources such as SPLOST revenue allocation and CDBG grants.
The big date is coming soon!
April 1, 2020 is Census Day! By then, every household should receive an invitation to complete the 2020 census. The census can be completed by mail, by phone, or (for the first time ever!) ONLINE! Self-response online and by phone opens on March 12. Mailers will be sent out in waves from March 12, 2020 – April 30, 2020.
April 1, 2020 is an important date to remember. Even if you complete the census after April 1, you’ll report based on your household information on that date.
For example, if you are in the process of moving, tell the Census Bureau where you live or spend the majority of your days as of April 1, 2020.
What about for counting people? The census will only include people who are born or alive on April 1, 2020. For example, if you were to complete the Census on April 10, 2020 but you had a child on April 5, 2020, you would not include him or her in your response because they were not yet born as of April 1, 2020. Babies born on April 1, 2020 are included in the census, even if they have not gone home yet.
The same concept applies for the deceased. For example, if someone living in your home passed away on April 4, 2020 they would still be included in the 2020 Census because he/she was still a living member of your household on April 1, 2020. If a member of our household passed away on March 31, 2020, they would not be included in the census. The census only counts people who were alive for any part of the day on April 1, 2020.
What questions will the 2020 Census ask? Don’t worry, it’s easy and 100% confidential.
- Where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- How many people live or stay with you as of April 1, 2020.
- The biological sex at birth of each person living or staying in your home as of April 1, 2020.
- The age of each person living or staying in your home as of April 1, 2020.
- The race of each person living or staying in your home as of April 1, 2020.
- Whether anyone living in your household is of Hispanic, Spanish, or latino/a origin
- The relationship of each person in your home (spouse, child, parent, etc)
- Whether your home is owned or rented.
For information on how the Census Bureau protects your information, go to: https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html
What the 2020 Census will NEVER ask for:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your credit card, debit card, or bank information
- Donations or money
- Anything on behalf of a political party
For more information about avoiding fraud, go to: https://2020census.gov/en/avoiding-fraud.html
So WHY complete the 2020 Census? Here are just a few of the many reasons a complete and accurate count is important:
- To ensure we are all fairly represented: Census information is an important part of how we draw and adjust legislative districts according to theS. Constitution. By March 2021, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to each state to account for population change.
- To better plan and fund government programs and policies: Census information can be used in planning and funding government programs. This data can also be used to enforce laws, regulations, and policies.
- To help fight discrimination: Census data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.
- To help support children: Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that support families, including people raising children alone.
- To help businesses make informed decisions: It’s not just government agencies that use census data. Private companies often use population and demographic data to help decide where to expand or what products and services to offer.
- To aid public services and infrastructure in our communities: Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. In 2015, $675 billion dollars of federal funding was distributed to states and local communities based on previous census data for these purposes.
Do your part toward helping improve and plan for our community. Be sure to be counted during the 2020 Census. For more information, please visit www.2020census.gov Also, check them out on YouTube Video HERE and social media HERE!