Help Rural Areas be Counted in Census 2020
Census numbers determine how communities receive federal and state resources
April 1 is National Census Day, and by that day your home should have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. The census, conducted every 10 years by mandate of the U.S. Constitution, is hugely important in understanding communities and their needs across the country, big and small.
“It is critical that rural areas are accurately represented in the census..."
“It is critical that rural areas are accurately represented in the census, which provides so much more than a count of America’s population,” explained Jay Rouse, director of Government Affairs for North Carolina’s Electric Cooperatives. “It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress, how federal and state legislative districts are drawn, and how communities receive federal and state resources and funding.”
Here are some frequently asked questions, with answers from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Q: Why does my response matter?
A: The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location. The list includes highway planning and construction, and programs to support local schools, rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults.
Q: What types of questions are asked?
A: Census questions are easy. You will answer a simple questionnaire about yourself and everyone who is living with you on April 1, 2020. The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to keep responses confidential. Visit the Census Bureau's website for a full list of questions and why they’re asked.
Q: What questions aren’t asked?
A: If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks about your social security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, your citizenship, or your bank or credit card account numbers, it’s a scam, and you should not cooperate.
Q: How can I respond?
A: Everyone living in the United States and its territories is required by law to be counted, and the 2020 Census makes it easy. In mid-March, households began receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond in one of three ways: Online, by phone or by mail.
For more information about the 2020 Census, visit the Cencus website or call 800-923-8282.