Everyone living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories, regardless of immigration status, are required by law to participate in the 2020 Census. Census Day is April 1, and it is an important date for the constitutionally mandated count, according to a news release from the Wayne County Board of Commissioners.
The 2020 Census marks the first time households will have the opportunity to respond electronically to the count. By April 1, every home will receive an invitation to participate, and once the request arrives, households should reply in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail.
Why is participation in the census critical?
Data from the census provides the basis for distributing billions of dollars in federal funds to communities throughout the country. This money is vital and impacts local programs, including housing, transportation, employment, and healthcare; it also helps shape public policy.
* Census statistics are used to determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives.
* Data from the census determines how state, local, and federal lawmakers will allocate billions of dollars in federal funds for the next ten years.
* The census benefits residents by supporting community initiatives.
* Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores that create local jobs.
* Local government officials use the census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals.
* Real estate developers and city planners use the census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods.
Is census data private?
Yes! All of the data collected by the census is confidential and protected by federal law. Research results that are published do not identify any individuals. Instead, summarized data is released that represent groups of people — generally in tables of numbers. For example, data from Medicare, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Census Bureau are combined to find out how many children need healthcare in the U.S. and how much funding will be needed as a result.
Counting an increasingly diverse and growing population is a massive undertaking. It requires years of planning and the support of thousands of people. Ultimately, the success of the census depends on everyone’s participation. The Census Bureau depends on cross-sector collaborations with organizations and individuals to help get people involved. In order to receive the maximum amount of available funds for local programs, everyone must be included.