Why the 2020 Census Matters

By now you’ve probably received a 2020 U.S. Census letter, asking you to fill out a short questionnaire. We urge you to take the time to respond. You can do so by phone, through the mail, or online.

Why? When IDEA communities are undercounted, we are underrepresented.

A lot is at stake in the 2020 Census, and IDEA communities can’t afford an undercount. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. Essential neighborhood resources like health clinics, school lunches for children in need, and housing for seniors and families will all be gained or lost because of the 2020 Census.

Many communities in Texas and Louisiana have been underrepresented or undercounted in the past census efforts. An undercount means our communities are not getting their fair share of funding and representation, ensuring that we go without in the future.

IDEA encourages all Team and Family to complete their Census before the end of April – the more accurate our count, the more funding our regions receive for necessary services that impact our students and communities!

We need everyone to participate and get involved. Below we explain how.  (You can also share this post with family and friends. Remind them to be counted.)

 

What is the Census?

Every ten years, the Census counts every person living in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.

 

What’s on the 2020 Census?

The 2020 Census will ask you for the following information:

  1. First and last name
  2. Age and date of birth
  3. Sex
  4. Household size
  5. Own or rent home
  6. If Hispanic/Latino
  7. Race
  8. Additional people staying in house
  9. Relationship between you and additional people in house

The 2020 Census will NOT ask you the following information:

  • Immigration or citizenship status
  • Your Social Security Number
  • Bank information, credit card numbers, or donations
  • If you are asked any of these questions, the form you are completing is fraudulent. If you suspect Census fraud, please call (800)-923-8282 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

To see what the 2020 Census will look like in English and in Spanish, click here!

 

How do I respond to the Census?

Once you receive your Census invitation, you can complete the Census online, by phone, or through the mail. Your invitation will have instructions for each method of completion. For more information on responding to the Census, as well as information on special circumstances and who to count, click here!

If you need any assistance in completing the 2020 Census, you can call the Census hotline. A Census worker will be able to answer any questions that you might have!

  • Spanish Hotline (844)-468-2020
  • English Hotline (844)-330-2020

 

When can I respond to the Census?

You will receive an invitation to complete the Census starting in mid-March. Starting on March 15th, you will be able to complete the Census via phone or online. If you would like to complete the Census via paper, you will have to wait until the paper Census form is mailed out at a later date. You have until August 14th to complete the Census. However, Census takers will visit any homes that have not already completed the 2020 Census starting in May to assist you with completing the Census.

 

Are my answers confidential?

Your Census responses are safe and confidential. Information collected as part of the 2020 Census cannot be shared with or by other governmental agencies or used against you in any way, as dictated under Title 13 of the U.S. code. It is for statistical purposes only. All Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information, and any violation comes with a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or up to 5 years in prison. For more information on how the 2020 Census protects your privacy, follow this link.

 

Why is the Census important?

The Census results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.

A lot is at stake in the 2020 Census, and IDEA communities can’t afford an undercount. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. Essential neighborhood resources like health clinics, school lunches for children in need, and housing for seniors and families will all be gained or lost because of the 2020 Census.

 

What’s at risk?

Counting everyone can be logistically challenging. Those who are at risk of being undercounted in the 2020 Census are:

  • Very young children
  • Immigrants
  • People who live in rural areas
  • People of color
  • People who move residences more frequently
  • People who face language barriers

The 2020 Census is an opportunity to get as many people as possible to participate in order to shape our future, and the future of our IDEA scholars.

 

Census 2020 Adjustments Due to COVID-19

In order to protect the protect the health and safety of Census Bureau employees and the American public during the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted Census 2020 operations. Most importantly, you now have until August 14th to complete the 2020 Census. Additionally, the Census Bureau will delay sending workers to homes that have not completed their Census to mid-May. As we move through these unprecedented times, it is possible that these dates may be further altered in order to protect everyone’s health and safety. Click here to see a current schedule of Census operational adjustments.

How can I get involved?

An accurate count is critical to communities across the country. Don’t let misinformation keep your friends and family members from responding. (Share this post with them! Remind them that we all need to be counted.)

One of the best ways you can show your support for the 2020 Census is by making sure you know the facts. Review basic facts about the 2020 Census and how the Census Bureau protects your data—and then share these facts with others. Join the conversation and take the pledge to complete the 2020 census here!

For more information about the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov

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