Every ten years it begins again. Each citizen is contacted by mail, phone – even door-to-door – but they’re not trying to sell you anything. It’s the United States Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a comprehensive tally of every single individual who resides in the country, legally documented or otherwise, every ten years.
The census doesn’t care about citizenship, however; it just wants the facts, ma’am. Your answers are strictly confidential – it’s against the law to disclose any identifying information.
On Monday, August 3, the Census Bureau reported that “93 million households, nearly 63 percent of all households in the nation, have responded to the 2020 Census.”
This year’s tally will continue until Wednesday, September 30, which is a month earlier than originally planned, according to NPR.
U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham claims that the deadline shift won’t affect accuracy, and is necessary to allow complete data processing by “the statutory deadline of December 31, 2020.”
“We will end field data collection by September 30, 2020,” Dillingham said in the August 3 statement. “Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. Under this plan, the Census Bureau intends to meet a similar level of household responses as collected in prior censuses, including outreach to hard-to-count communities.”
That means Americans who have not responded to the 2020 Census have less than a month to do so. The good news is, the process is quick and fairly painless. But people still have questions. Particularly, why does the government need to know how many people live in our homes?
Long story short, this information isn’t really for “big government.” It helps our communities. It helps us and it helps our neighbors.
An accurate count means billions of dollars in federal funding for local communities, for schools, roads and other public services – and the number of representatives each state has in Congress.
Regardless of where you live, the census count affects you.
District 69 State Representative Jennifer Webb’s office told the Gabber the following:
“For every person not counted in the census, HD69 stands to lose $15,000 per year in federal funding. In some of my district’s cities, only 40% of our neighbors have completed their census. This means that infrastructure, school lunches, hospitals, housing assistance programs, and many other critical needs will fall far short in federal funding.”
That’s particularly true for municipalities, like Gulfport.
“Much of the federal funding that goes to local governments is based on population and population data comes directly from the census,” says Gulfport Mayor Sam Henderson. “If people fail to be counted, Gulfport’s slice of the pie gets smaller and the benefits per capita are less than they should be. Be counted so we can make it count for all of us.”
If you have questions concerning the U.S. Census, or are ready to fill out your form, visit 2020census.gov.