What is the Census?
Once a decade, America comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. The decennial census was first taken in 1790, as mandated by the Constitution. It counts our population and households, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy.
How do I fill it out?
The 2020 Census is the first one that can be filled out online! Paper questionnaires are also available. Between March 12-20, individuals will either receive an online invitation to respond to the census or will receive a paper questionnaire. If the census is not filled out before April 27, home visits by census workers will be made.
Why is it important?
The census has far-reaching effects, including federal funding for schools. Below are some other ways census data are used:
- Drawing federal, state, and local legislative districts
- Decision-making at all levels of government
- Distributing more than $675 billion in federal funding to states and communities
- Development of rural areas
- Creating maps to speed emergency services to households in need of assistance
- Designing facilities for people will disabilities, the elderly, or children
- Planning future government services
- Planning investments and analyzing financial risk
- Distributing medical research
- Facilitating scientific research
- Drawing school district boundaries
- Assessing the potential for communicable diseases
- Analyzing military potential
- Planning for school projects