We’ve all seen the cancellations and closures in response to the COVID-19 situation. But one initiative is still underway: The 2020 Census. So if you find yourself working from home or spending more time inside, take a few minutes to fill out your form!
As a reminder, every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. The results of this count provide critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers and many others use to support you and your community. The census also determines the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
All this to say, the census is very important and your participation is vital! Especially as we begin to understand the full impact of the COVID-19 situation. For instance, census data influences how more than $675 billion from more than 100 federal programs are distributed to states and localities each year. This can benefit:
- School lunches
- Community development grants
- Road and school construction
- Medical services
- Small business support
So are you willing to take 10 minutes and impact the next 10 years? Here’s what you need to do:
By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:
- By phone
- By mail
And please note, even if you don’t receive your letter, you can still go online and fill out your form! So, what exactly does the form ask? Just nine questions:
- Number of people in the household
- Anyone else staying in the house on April 1, 2020
- If you own or rent your home
- Phone number
If you have questions or need assistance filling out your form, contact the Census Bureau at 301-763-INFO (4636) or 800-923-8282. And of course, for some people, it's not clear how they should count themselves or the people in their home. These circumstances may include:
- People who live in more than one place
- People who are moving on Census Day (April 1, 2020)
- People who are born or die on Census Day (April 1, 2020)
- People experiencing homelessness.
- Visitors on Census Day (April 1, 2020)
- Foreign citizens on Census Day (April 1, 2020)
- Students (boarding school, college, etc.)
- U.S. Military Personnel
- People in shelters
- People displaced by natural disasters
- People in prisons and correctional facilities
- People in health care facilities
- People living in RV parks, hotels or other transitory location
Find out what you should do in these situations at the U.S. Census website here.
In closing, the MMYH blog would just like to share a reminder for everyone to do their part. In this season uncertainty, one thing is for sure, we all count. And when we all fill out the census, we all benefit.
Megan Ochmanek is a communications specialist for Macomb County Planning and Economic Development.