Stuck at home? Fill out your 2020 Census

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 4/16/20

Many are feeling the impact of COVID-19 as more and more people find themselves at home during these unprecedented times. One thing that everyone can do during this time, whether they’re …

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Stuck at home? Fill out your 2020 Census

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Many are feeling the impact of COVID-19 as more and more people find themselves at home during these unprecedented times. One thing that everyone can do during this time, whether they’re quarantined at home or still working out in the field, is fill out their 2020 Census.

The process is easy and takes ten minutes or less to do. No personal questions will be asked concerning taxes, social security number, or citizenship. As for the information that is entered such as address and phone number, the Census Bureau does not share information with other government entities.

“The US Federal Government has more than $675 billion to give away annually,” said Partnership Specialist for the Census Bureau Jean Hough. “That money is allocated through one thing and one thing only: census numbers, how many people do you have in your community. The money follows the numbers, not the need. So, you’ve got to have your numbers counted to get your piece of that money.”

For each person who does not fill out their Census, that’s $1,600 per person that the state loses. Money from the Census goes towards school lunches, veteran’s programs, Medicaid and Medicare, transportation, and various other organizations and nonprofits. Additionally, Alabama is in jeopardy of losing one, and possibly two seats in the House of Representatives, which a complete Census count could prevent.

As of April 10, the state of Alabama was at a 46.9 percent response rate, with Baldwin County at a response rate of 41.5 percent.

So what can you do to help spread the word about the importance of the Census? The Census Bureau has worked on a list of things the community can do during the COVID-19 pandemic that encourages the community to stay safe and take their Census.

For businesses who wish to participate, offer customers a discount, free product, or free delivery if they show a copy of their Census “confirmation” page. Even if a business is currently closed, these offers can be honored once the pandemic is lifted.

For teachers, the Census Bureau is suggesting providing extra credit for students who turn in their home’s Census confirmation page. Bonus points if the student writes a small explanation about the importance of the Census.

For kids who are home, the bureau suggests having some fun and letting them create chalk art supporting the 2020 Census in their driveways. Some homes have also placed messages concerning the Census in their windows for those who are walking through the neighborhood as reminders.

The Census can be filled out online, via phone calls to the Census Bureau, or through paper applications. Check out https://www.census.gov/ for more information on the 2020 Census. You can watch your town/city’s progress at https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html. The Census Bureau is asking everyone to share the importance of the Census with friends, family, and coworkers. Governor Kay Ivey is aiming for a 90% completion rate for Alabama.