Census 2020: Why every count matters

December 12, 2019

Why should everyone participate?

Census data affects the distribution of federal funds to your community. Census counts are used in distributing over $13.1 billion in federal funds per year in Colorado, this translates to $2,300 per person per year. Those dollars help to fund resources and programs that directly impact communities such as:

  • Title 1 grants to educational agencies
  • Head Start programs
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Transportation (public transit, road rehabilitation, and construction)
  • Emergency food and shelter
  • Health and human services programs

With children under five years of age being among the hardest to count populations, the distribution of proper funding to programs directly impacting this population is at-risk. In Colorado, it is estimated that in the 2010 Census as many as 17,000 young children were not counted--this is equivalent to ignoring a small school district!

What is the Census?

It's important. It's easy. It's safe. The Census is a count of all persons living in the United States that is conducted every ten years by the federal government and is required by the U.S. Constitution. The Census is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives, how federal and state legislative districts are redrawn, and the appropriation of federally funded programs.

The goal of the Census is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place.

When will the 2020 Census be conducted?

Census Day is April 1, 2020. However, data collection will begin in March 2020 and continue through August 2020. 

How can people complete the Census?

Households will receive a postcard with instructions for completing the Census beginning in March 2020. Census forms are available in 13 different languages and are collected by the Census Bureau in four ways:

1. Online, using the internet or a cell phone,

2. Over the telephone, by calling the census call center listed on the census card,

3. Using a paper form, or

4. By responding to a census enumerator.

Who should respond to the Census?

Everyone! Census postcards are sent to all households in the United States to collect information about each person living in the household. The Census Bureau is conducting special count efforts for the following populations:

  • Homeless populations
  • University students
  • Prison populations
  • Other persons living in institutional settings

What questions will be asked on the Census?

The Census consists of 10 questions and it is anticipated to take 10 minutes per person to complete. The questions include:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Hispanic origin
  • Race
  • Relationship to householder
  • Household tenure (own/rent)
  • Number of persons in the household
  • Does a person usually stay or live somewhere else?

The privacy of your responses is guaranteed by law. The form does not ask for your Social Security number or other personal identifiers. Name and address are asked only to ensure that each person in the US is counted only once where they live. While the law requires persons to answer all Census questions accurately, an incomplete Census form will still be included in the headcount.

Visit the Colorado Census 2020 Website to learn more about the Census and how you can help to communicate the importance of the Census in your community.

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