While it might feel like we have enough on our plates with the coronavirus, upcoming election, schools starting (or starting at home), and businesses opening back up, it’s important to consider just one more big focus: the 2020 Census. Sure, it might seem like it’s just another form to fill out that shares your personal information, but the census is much more than that. It will help you and your community in the long run, and only takes a few minutes to complete.
To understand the “why” behind the census, let’s first learn more about what it is. The United States Census Bureau is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System and is responsible for producing data about the American people and the economy. It’s also mandated in the Constitution that the country conduct a count of its population once every 10 years! The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time the country has counted its population since 1790, and only asks nine questions about you and everyone living with you.
The goal of the 2020 Census is to count every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. The reason why the census is so important is because it provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for individuals and local communities. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data, which is why it’s so important to have accurate reporting.
In regard to you and your local community, filling out the census will:
- Help Your Community Thrive – census numbers help your community work out public improvement strategies
- Get Help in Times of Need – many 911 emergency systems are based on maps developed from the last census
- Make Government Work for You – the census is a great avenue to tell our leaders who we are and what we need, which allows for the fair distribution of federal and state funds that go to hospitals, highways, stadiums and school lunch programs
- Reduced Risk for American Businesses – with feedback from the census, businesses owners are able to make better decisions about where to locate, hire and invest, which reduces financial risk
- Help Yourself and Your Family – while individual records are held confidential for 72 years, you can request a certificate from past censuses that can help to establish your age, residence or relationship, or help you to qualify for a pension, establish citizenship or obtain an inheritance.
Due to the fact that the coronavirus has thrown us all for a loop, the deadline for completing the 2020 Census has been extended until September 30, 2020 for all online, phone and mailed self-responses.
If you have yet to complete your 2020 Census, you can visit www.my2020census.gov, call (844) 330-2020, or by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire that was mailed to you in March 2020. The deadline is September 30th!
Take solace knowing that all responses are kept confidential and used strictly for statistical purposes only. So do your part, and help the Delray Beach community thrive for the next 10 years, and beyond!