Census 2020: Everyone counts

In mid-March, you will have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to unlock millions of dollars in federal funds that can address our area’s most pressing needs. Every 10 years, the United States counts everyone who lives in the country, regardless of age, nationality, or ability. It is important for everyone to respond to the 2020 Census so that communities like yours can receive the funding they need for health care, accessibility services, and more.

Everyone counts. The census counts every person living in the United States once, and only once, and in the right place. Make sure you include everyone in your household (this includes babies, children, grandparents etc.).

It’s about $675 billion. The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds and grants to states, counties and communities is based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

 Census Data impacts funding for things like:

  • Head Start
  • School meal programs
  • Adult education grants
  • Public transportation and roads
  • Housing assistance
  • Emergency services
  • Medicare
  • Health clinics
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • Preventative healthcare programs

It’s about fair representation. Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.

It’s about redistricting. After each census, officials redraw the boundaries of congressional, state and local districts to account for population shifts.

It’s easy. You can complete your census form online, by phone, or by mail. It’s your civic duty. You will receive your invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau in mid-March 2020. You are required to complete your form by April 1.

Your privacy is protected. It’s against the law for the U.S. Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. By law, your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics.

We’re counting on you! Orange City residents will play a crucial role in census outreach. You have personal relationships and a deep understanding of the community you live in. You also see firsthand the effects of underfunding for social services and public programs.

Complete your form by April 1 and encourage your friends and neighbors to participate in the 2020 Census too.

For more information, visit: www.volusia.org/government/census-2020/

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 Why do we have a census?

The U.S. Constitution mandates a count every 10 years of everyone living in the United States. People of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and noncitizens will be counted. The population totals from the 2020 Census will determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. States also use the totals to redraw their legislative districts. The totals also affect funding in your community.  The information the Census Bureau collects helps determine how more than $675 billion of federal funding is spent each year for critical services like schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, emergency services, affordable housing, and much more. Participation in the Census is mandatory.

 

When will I receive my census form? 

In mid-March, every household in the United States will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. There will be a unique code on the postcard, and you must use this code to complete your questionnaire.

 

How can I respond?

This year, you can respond online or by phone. If you do not respond by April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau will send you a paper form. If you still don’t respond, a census taker will knock on your door.

Where should I be counted? 

You should be counted where you live and sleep most of the time. If usual residence cannot be determined, you should be counted where you are staying on April 1.


What about college students?

College students living away from their parental home are counted at the on-campus or off-campus residence where they live or sleep most of the time.  If you live on campus, you will be counted with the help of campus housing officials through the U.S. Census Bureau’s group quarters program. If you live off campus, you must complete the form on your own. Each household will receive one invitation to participate in the Census in mid-March. One person should take charge and complete the form for each person in the household by April 1.

 

Do kids count?

Absolutely! Parents should include all children living in their home – including non-relatives and children with no other place to live, even if they are only living there temporarily – on April 1. Parents should also include newborns who are still in the hospital. Children who split time between two homes should be counted at the home where they live and sleep most of the time. If the child spends equal amounts of time between two homes, count them where they stayed on April 1.

 

What if I am away from home on April 1?

People away from their usual residence on Census Day are counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time. This includes people who are on vacation or a business trip, traveling outside the United States, or working elsewhere without a usual residence there.

 

 Are my answers safe and secure?

Your information is confidential. The Census Bureau collects data for statistical purposes only. They combine your responses with information from other households or businesses to produce statistics, which never identify your household, any person in your household, or business. Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information; violating this law is a crime with severe penalties. Other federal laws, including the Confidential Statistical Efficiency Act and the Privacy Act, reinforce these protections. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000, imprisonment of up to five years, or both. It is against the law to disclose or publish names, addresses, Social Security numbers and telephone numbers.

 

What is the American Community Survey? 

The American Community Survey is part of the census program. It collects more detailed information on housing, population and the economy. Data are collected throughout the decade from a sample of the population (about 3 million addresses annually). Participation is mandatory by law.

 

What if I don’t complete my form?

A census taker will visit the homes of persons who do not complete their census form. If you don’t answer all the questions on the form, you may receive a knock on the door.

 

How can I identify scams?

The Census Bureau will never ask for a complete Social Security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, your bank’s name or credit card numbers.

When visiting a home, census workers must:

  • Present an ID badge that contains a photograph, Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date.
  • Provide supervisor contact information and/or the regional office phone number for verification, if asked.
  • Provide you with a letter from the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau on Census Bureau letterhead

When will the results be available?

The U.S. Census Bureau must submit state population totals to the President of the United States by December 31, 2020.

For more information, visit: www.volusia.org/government/census-2020/

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