The 2020 Census is closer than you think! We will begin sharing information regularly in school publications with community members to help better prepare us for the 2020 Census. Here is a quick refresher of what it is and why it’s essential that everyone is counted.
Additional information can be found on the Census website anytime at census.gov or 2020census.gov.
- Everyone counts: The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place.
- It’s about fair representation: Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to re-apportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.
- It’s in the constitution: The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
- It’s about $675 billion: The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.
- It’s about redistricting: After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.
- Taking part is your civic duty: Completing the census is mandatory: it’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!”
Census2020: Did You Know?
The law is clear – no personal information can be shared. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households, or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies. The law states that the information collected may only be used for statistical purposes and no other purpose. To support historical research, Title 44 of the U.S. Code allows the National Archives and Records Administration to release census records only after 72 years. 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.