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April 1, 2020 is Census Day. The Census is mandated by the US Constitution. The United States has been conducting the Census every ten years since 1790. Census 2020 will be the 24th Census.
Data from the Census will be used for the next ten years for many things - including determining New York State’s representation in Congress as well as local districting. Census data is also used for the distribution of about $880 Billion of federal funds to local municipalities according to a December 2018 report from the George Washington Institute on Policy.
The Census Bureau estimates that every person that is not counted equals a loss of approximately $2,500 per year to local municipalities. This means that every 400 people who are not counted equates to a loss of about $1 Million in funding - each year.
Who Is Required To Respond?
Everyone living in the 50 states, 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) is required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.
What does the Census ask
All responses to the Census are confidential, and cannot be shared with any other federal or local government entity, including law enforcement agencies.
It is important to know that the Census Bureau will not send unsolicited emails to request your participation in the 2020 Census. Further, during the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will never ask for:
In addition, the Census Bureau will not contact you on behalf of a political party.
How to Complete the Census form
In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census. This is the first time you will have the opportunity to respond quickly and easily online at www.2020census.gov. You will have three options for responding:
Visit local libraries if need help filling the census survey or call the toll free number
There will be dedicated toll-free numbers available in March 2020 for each language CQAdeveloping printed materials.
For information on services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing: Call the TTY number at 800-877-8339 to reach the Federal Relay Service.
Important 2020 Census Dates
March 12-20: Initial invitations to respond online and by phone will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with the invitation to respond online or over the phone.
March 16-24: Reminder letters will be delivered.
March 26-April 3: Reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not responded.
April 8-16: Reminder letters and paper questionnaires will be delivered to remaining households that have not responded.
April 20-27: Final reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not yet responded before census takers follow up in person.
May 13-July 31: If a household does not respond to any of the invitations, a census taker will follow up in person.