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The United States has taken a census since 1790, as mandated by the Constitution, Article 1, Section 2.

What is the purpose of taking the census?

  1. Apportionment in Congress; many states could add Representatives or lose 1 (we currently have 435 Congressmen and women)
  2. Tells how Federal funds will be distributed
  3. Will help with redistricting in 2021

The data is kept confidential for 72 years. Only the statistical portion is given to the President at the end of the year, and then provided to the states. Individual information will be private.

Colorado and each state will receive federal funds for each individual (It was $1481 in Colorado in recent years).

Beware:  There is an online American Comm. Survey, which is NOT the census.  The 2020 census for the most part will be completed online. If that makes you uncomfortable, you can call it in, or wait for paper to fill out.

Who gets counted in your household?  Everyone living in the U.S.!  Babies, homeless, you, roommate, grandnephew, French teacher living with you.  If you are divorced and share housing your children, one of you should decide who will count the kids; do not count them twice.

Important Dates:  

January 21: The U.S. Census Bureau starts counting the population in remote Alaska. The count officially begins in the rural Alaskan village of Toksook Bay.

March 12 – 20: Households will begin receivingofficial Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail.  

  • March 30 – April 1:¬†The Census Bureau will¬†count people who are experiencing homelessness¬†over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
  • April 1:¬†Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll¬†tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
  • April:¬†Census takers¬†will¬†begin visiting¬†college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
  • May – July:¬†Census takers will¬†begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 Census to¬†help make sure everyone is counted.
  • December:¬†The Census Bureau¬†will¬†deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.
  • March 31, 2021:¬†By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.

What questions will be asked?  How many are living there. If you own or rent.  Your sex, age, race, ethnicity, and relationship.  It will NEVER ask for your social security number, checking account or credit card info (this is free; paid by taxes), for donations or your political party.  Those are clues of scams.  Report them to Rumors@census.gov.

Validate In person visitors! If a census taker comes to your door, make sure they have a laptop with Census log, or smartphone. You can verify their ID at 1-800-923-8282 if you still feel uncomfortable.   The census can be done online, by phone (13 languages), paper mailer, or in person.

Please answer the census ASAP, otherwise they will visit you in person.  You will receive a mailer with instructions March 12-April 27.

For more questions and answers, please visit www.2020Census.gov or 1-800-923-8282.

*(I gleaned this information from an AARP census call this week; you can verify any of it at the census site and get more information there about jobs, etc.  Note if you apply, they will call you by phone, with no caller ID, and will not leave message; after 3 attempts they will move on to the next applicant).

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