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The 2020 Census: What Is This All About? By Robin Carter

If you are wondering why it’s so important to respond to the Census, just think of the changes that happen in a matter of ten years. Remember when our cellphones were not designed to take selfies or even visual chat with anyone, or in order to watch movies on Netflix, you needed to order them by mail or select them from the “Redbox?”. The government is not concerned with our selfies or how many of them we take, or what movies we like watching. However, it does want to track changes; about a decade’s worth of them. They want to know things like where we live, whether we are married, single, and how many of us are still living in the Country. This is where the U.S. Census comes into play.

The Census is a national survey that is conducted every ten years by the Federal Government to determine how many people are living in the United States. These survey questions will ask how many people are living in a single household, their age, sex and race. This population count will also determine how many representatives each state will have in Congress for the next decade (10 years). Most importantly, it will reveal how much federal funding each community will receive for construction, schools, housing and social programs. Everyone who lives in the United States will be counted, which began on April 1, 2020. This includes babies, children, homeless people, people living in shelters, even immigrants will be counted regardless of their legal status.

A Census card is usually mailed out to each household about the middle of March, inviting you to respond to the Census online, though some will receive a paper questionnaire. This year 2020, there are three easy ways to respond to the Census: by mail, online, or by phone by calling the Census Bureau. Some people may choose not to respond due to various reasons such as; they may feel that it is not necessary. Others may be reluctant to provide personal information. But keep in mind that while participating in the Census is a mandatory act and is required by law, information provided is private and confidential and cannot be shared with other federal departments or agencies. Also, the Census will not ask for your social security number or financial information like bank accounts or monetary donations. If a Census worker visits your home, they will be required to show a valid I.D. If you want to confirm that they are a valid employee, you may do so by going to the U.S. Census Bureau website and enter their name into the Census Bureau Staff Search.

So, don’t miss out on the count. Take the necessary steps to find out about the importance of the Census and be counted.