It’s National Census Day

Every ten years, the Federal government conducts a census of every man, woman and child currently living in the United States.

The census takes place once every ten years and is used by the government to determine total population and distribute important funding and grants to states and communities throughout the United States. In fact, it is estimated that more than $16 billion is allocated based on census counts, and each person NOT counted results in a loss of approximately $1,300 to the locality where a person is NOT counted.

Although the official Census Day is April 1, official census forms are already in the mail and online census response capability began on March 12. Despite the fact that you can respond by mail, online, or answer questions from door-to-door census takers, the goal of the census is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place.

The easiest way to complete the census is to have one person in each household fill out the census form that is mailed to each known residential address. This is true for traditional families and roommates who share an apartment. The person who completes the form needs to know the complete name and some statistical information about each member of the household. No Social Security numbers are required, and the questions are fairly simple in nature. People should also be assured that individual information from the forms is not shared with other government agencies like the IRS or Immigration Service. You can mail in the completed form, or alternatively, can complete an identical form online. But you only do it once – and only one form should be submitted per household or per apartment. Alternative versions in different languages are also available.

The form does ask for a phone number (but not an email address). Here’s why. Remember that the goal is to count every person – but only once. If two people from the same address decide to fill out the form without telling the other people in the house, the Census Bureau will call you and ask you to clarify that there is only one person named John Doe at that address. They will also send out a reminder, and sometimes people fill it out twice without knowing that a form has already been filed on their behalf.

For people who live in a nursing home or assisted living facility, different rules may apply and your administrator can provide you with full details.

If NO census form is returned from an address, the Census Bureau may send a representative to the home to conduct an in-person interview.

For more information about the U.S. Census you can visit the national website at: www.2020census.gov.

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