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Mar 11, 2020

10 Things To Know About The 2020 Census

1.  The 2020 Census is more than a population count. It's an opportunity to shape the future of our community. Census data is used to allocate federal funding for healthcare, housing, fire departments, natural disaster assistance, education at all levels, highways, public transit, water and waste disposal systems, employment training, wildlife restoration, child abuse prevention, wildfire abatement and so much more.

2.  The 2020 Census intends to count every person living in the 50 U.S. states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). We need every living person counted, so when the federal funding is allocated, we receive our full share. (Really? The Northern Mariana Islands?  Who knew?)

3. The 2020 Census is easy. There are three ways that the Census Bureau will initially collect responses from people for the 2020 Census: online, by phone, and by mail. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you. You will receive an identification code by mail at your home address, but you don’t need that to respond. Starting March 12, you can just go online to my2020census.gov. Right on the home page you will see where to click to respond without an identification code. Prefer to do it by mail?  Forms go out in March and should be received by April 1. There is support for 59 languages; you can even call in your census registration. Start with 1-800-923-8282 – you can be transferred to an operator who speaks your language!

4.  Here’s what you will need to register your household for the 2020 Census:

  • Full names, gender, age, birthdate, ethnicity, race and relationship of everyone living at your house April 1, 2020.
  • Address;
  • Do you own or rent your home?
  • Is there a mortgage or loan owed on the home?
  • Phone number for later questions/clarification.
  • Not sure? Have questions? Go to 2020census.gov and find a zillion answers.

5.  Getting a complete and accurate census count is critically important. That's why your response is required by law. If you do not respond, the U.S. Census Bureau will follow up in person to collect your response. (Who wants to be hounded by Census workers?  Save yourself some time and annoyance – just go online to my2020Census.gov and do it!)

6.  And while you are required by law to participate, the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers. Your responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information for 70 years.  It will be the year 2090 before your descendants will be able to see who is living together in your home. By then, your personal information won’t seem so personal! 

7.  Every human being, of every age (already born, not in the womb), needs to be included who is living in your household April 1, 2020. Whether born that day or any day before that day, each person is to be included in your household’s Census 2020 registration. Still not sure who to count?  Visit https://2020census.gov/en/who-to-count.html for every possible question!

8.  The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the results are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts, even city wards. State and local officials also use census counts to draw boundaries for school districts.

9.  The Census is in the Constitution. Article 1, Section 2, mandates that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790.

10.  The 1790 Census included the original 13 states; the districts of Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont; and the Southwest Territory (now known as Tennessee).  In the first Census, about 650 U.S. marshals and assistants went on horseback and on foot, recording answers on forms made of parchment and animal skins. They were directed by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. The number of U.S. Representatives increased from 65 to 105, based on the results of the 1790 Census. The current number of representatives is 435. The 1790 Census counted 3,929,214 people in the United States and its territories. Now, that many people live in just Los Angeles!