The Census isn’t just about the numbers. It’s about empowerment. The decennial census is the most inclusive civic activity in our country, covering every person in every household. The data collected affect our nation’s ability to ensure equal representation and equal access to important governmental and private sector resources for all Americans across racial and ethnic lines. Census results are used to allocate seats and draw district lines for the U.S. House of Representatives, state legislatures, and local boards; to target at least $800 billion annually in federal assistance to states, localities, and families; and to guide community decision-making affecting schools, housing, health care services, business investment, and much more. These functions depend on a fair and accurate census.
Next year, March 2020, people residing in the United States will receive a postcard from the U.S. Census Bureau directing them to complete their 2020 Census form online. This will be the first internet-based Census in our country’s history. Although, the internet based form is the preferred method for Census participation, both telephone response and paper questionnaires remain available options for persons without internet access. The first deadline for submitting completed Census forms is on Census Day, April 1, 2020, less than a year from now.