2020 Census: What You Need to Know

Apr 2, 2020 12:25 AM ET

April 1 is known as the Day of the Census.

And across the country, local officials are encouraging residents to fill out census questionnaires this week.

“A lot of people are at home right now, like you should be. But the truth is, it’s also a good time to complete your census,” said Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer said in a video message.

The results of the 2020 census will affect people’s lives across the country. And everyone who lives in the USA plays a role in the design.

Here are some important things you need to know:

The census is a big deal.

The census, which is conducted every 10 years, determines how many representatives each state has in Congress and how billions of dollars in federal funds are spent. Schools, roads and other important things in your community will receive or lose funds over the next 10 years depending on this official population.

This was highlighted by the Census Bureau in a $ 500 million campaign with more than 1,000 ads that have been on the air for months. Why? Experts say people are more likely to respond when they learn why the census matters.

It is required by law.

The census is prescribed in the constitution.

And on the envelopes on the way to mailboxes across America, the message is clear and printed in bold on the outside of the envelope: “YOUR REPLY IS LEGALLY REQUIRED.”

What if you refuse to answer or skip a question? They can be fined under federal law.

This year, the way people are counted is changing significantly.

It is the first time that all households in the United States have the opportunity to respond online.
This has worried some cyber security experts and lawmakers. However, census officials stress that the online questionnaires will be safe.

The coronavirus pandemic is having an impact.

Census mailings went into homes across the country earlier this month, just as the coronavirus pandemic in the United States began to worsen.

Since then, officials have announced changes in their deployment schedule for this year’s census.
These operations are currently suspended until April 15, while the Census Bureau is assessing the situation.

Legislators said he was concerned about timing.

Senator Tina Smith, who along with several Democratic colleagues sent a letter to the Census Bureau earlier this month asking about coronavirus plans, said she was concerned that coronavirus officials may rely too much on Internet responses communities, which they believe could lead to a sub-count.

“It’s a big concern,” she said.

Corona virus is already disrupting the 2020 census

The census spokesman, Michael Cook, told CNN that the agency had plans for people, households, and communities who “don’t have a high internet connection.” And officials say that the way the census is structured and provides people with multiple ways of responding allows local operations to adjust as needed.

“If we have to delay or stop follow-up visits to a particular community, we will adjust our operations to ensure that we get a complete and accurate count,” said the Census Bureau.

A citizenship issue is not on the census.

Anyone living in the United States should be counted in the census, whether they are citizens or not.

The Supreme Court has prevented the Trump administration from including a citizenship issue in the census. Even if this question is not in the mix, there are still concerns as to whether the months-long debate about it will affect response rates.

Some people are concerned that they will be afraid to respond to the census. Proponents working with immigrant communities have doubled their public relations efforts in the past few months.

At a recent event in Washington, census officials asked questions and stressed that Title 13 of the United States Code guarantees that the personal information provided for the census is confidential.

“I can assure you that the law requires not only that we do our job professionally and protect confidential information, but that we have all the systems – the most advanced systems available – to protect the information,” said director Steven Dillingham.

The first 2020 census mailings you receive may or may not include a written questionnaire.

The US Census Bureau has sent different mailings to different households depending on different factors.
Approximately three out of four households receive an invitation to conduct the census online or by phone. The invitation is in English and Spanish “in areas where 20% or more of households need Spanish support,” the Census Bureau said.

In areas of the country where officials believe residents are less likely to respond online, a written questionnaire will also be received the first time they are shipped.

Officials have released sample images showing all mailings that arrived on March 12 to help members of the public avoid potential scams.

According to the Census Bureau, households that have not yet responded to the census will receive a written questionnaire in April.

Up to half a million contract workers could be hired to help with this count.

Officials estimate that around 60% of people answer questionnaires by mail, phone or online. People’s counters have to go door to door to get answers from others – and they don’t have much time for it.

Census officials have announced they will hire up to half a million agency workers to help with the census this year.

However, there are no plans to go to great lengths to go from house to house and reach households that have not yet responded to the census.

According to the official 2020 census schedule, this will mostly be from May to July. Until December 31, 2020, the US Census Bureau is required by law to report the population from the new census to the President.

Some people have already been counted in this year’s census.

While this week’s rollout marks a milestone for the 2020 census, technically the census started months ago.

What is known as the first or first census of the 2020 census started in January in the fishing village of Toksook Bay in Alaska.

The 2020 census started on January 21 in Toksook Bay, Alaska. The census has started in rural Alaska since the United States bought the area from Russia in 1867

It is a tradition that the census begins earlier in remote parts of Alaska, where large parts of the state are not connected by roads and can have a spotty postal service.

Dillingham, the census director, drove into the city on a snowmobile and knocked on a door to officially start counting.

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