What You Need to Know About the 2020 Census

What exactly is the 2020 Census you might be asking? According to 2020census.gov the 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and the five U.S. Territories. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time the country has counted its population since 1790.

Why is the 2020 Census important? The 2020 Census is important because the Census results help determine how a portion of the estimated $880 billion a year in federal funding flows into our community. These funds provide things like health clinics, fire departments, schools, roads, and highways. The results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets, the number of Electoral College votes and is used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. 

By April 1, 2020, every home should receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. This invitation will be in the form of a letter or a door knocker. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When completing the census, you will include everyone living in your home on April 1st. This includes anyone who is living and sleeping there most of the time. If someone is staying in your home on April 1 and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response to the 2020 Census. It is important to remember to count any children who are living with you. This includes all children who live in your home, including foster children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and the children of friends (even if they are living with you temporarily). Children who split their time between homes, if they are living with you on April 1, 2020. Newborn babies, even those who are born on April 1, 2020, or who are still in the hospital on this date.

The census is required by the Constitution and you can be fined for refusing to answer a census question or intentionally giving false answers. Don’t worry about all the personal questions though. The Census Bureau cannot share census responses identifying individuals with other state or federal agencies.

For more information on the 2020 Census, you can contact the Winn Parish Police Jury or go to census.gov.

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