Beginning in March, the US Census Bureau will invite households across the country to participate in the 2020 census. But what is the census? Simply put, the census is a headcount of every person living in the United States.
To be sure the government represents the people, the US Constitution requires a population count every ten years. Ever since 1790 the census has determined the number of seats each state receives in the US House of Representatives. It is and always has been a cornerstone of our democracy.
We still use it to determine representation, but leaders also use the data to make decisions. Your response helps guide planning for the future of our communities. The 2020 census will help inform decisions on how billions of dollars are allocated annually for critical public services like roads, schools, hospitals and health care clinics, fire and emergency response services, and hundreds of other programs.
In 2020, for the first time, you'll be able to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. It asks a few simple questions, like, how many people live in your home on April 1st, including their age and sex, and if there are any children living there.
You should know that by law all census responses are completely confidential and your personal information cannot be shared with any law enforcement agencies.
Every person counts. No matter who you are or where you live. So whether your family has participated for decades, or the 2020 census will be your first, we all have a role in shaping the future of our country.
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