Officials for the 2020 Census met last week with potential Oneonta volunteers to begin preparations for the once-every-10 years count of U. S. population. Below is a summary of salient facts about the 2020 Census for citizens.
Timing: During March 2020, all households will receive an invitation to participate in the U.S. 2020 census.
Response options: Internet, phone, or paper form. Every household will get a paper form if they don’t respond online. Households in low-Internet areas will get a paper form from the start. In May, the Census Bureau will begin following up with households that have not responded to any of the options.
• number of people living or staying in the household
• whether home is owned or rented
• sex of each person in the household
• age of each person in the household
• race of each person in the household
• whether any person is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin
• relationship of each person to each other
Uses of census data:
• to determine how many U. S. representatives each state has; Alabama, along with seven other states, stands to lose one U.S. representative if the census count is not exceptionally robust; other states like Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and others are likely to gain one or more seats.
• to determine the number of electoral votes each state will have in elections from 2022 to 2030. (2020 Census Bureau apportionment results are not delivered to the President until December, 2020.)
• for state and local officials to redraw boundaries for state congressional districts, state legislative districts, and school districts.
• to allocate federal funding to states and local areas in connection with a multitude of federal programs areas, such as: roads, hospitals, health care, emergency services, and multiple aspects of public school funding – examples: head start, special education, school nutrition.
• to determine where to locate facilities (by businesses) that will provide employment opportunities; by developers to decide where to build houses or revitalize neighborhoods.
Confidentiality: Federal law forbids the Census Bureau from sharing private information with anyone. Answers to census questions can legally be used only to produce statistics/data used by others.
Employment: The Census Bureau will hire about 500,000 temporary workers nationally for full- and part-time jobs including census takers, office staff, specialists and more. Those interested may visit 2020census.gov/jobs for information and online application.