CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - April 1, 2020 is National Census Day, and it’s crucial that you be sure you are counted.
The census counts every person living in the U.S. once every 10 years, and it only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
Not only is it your civic duty, the U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone be counted.
The first census was taken in 1790, and now that you’ll be able to respond online, the U.S. Census Bureau said the 2020 Census “will be easier than ever.”
As previously stated, the census only takes about 10 minutes to complete, and asks for the names and birthdays of you and your household members.
The Census 2020 form can be filled out by mail, and is available in 12 different languages online or over the phone, and those with video accessibility can also use American Sign Language.
One person fills out the Census for the entire household, including all family members and roommates, or anyone who regularly lives and sleeps at the house.
Anyone who is unsure where their household members live regularly should count where they stayed on April 1, 2020.
The 2020 Census determines $675 billion in federal funding, representation in Congress, and community development and resources for the next 10 years.
The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities based on the census data is spent on hospitals, public works, roads, schools, and other vital programs.
The census results are used to reapportion the House of Representatives by determining how many seats each state gets to ensure fair representation.
After the census is complete, state officials redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts.
“Ohio is projected to lose at least one seat in Congress after the 2020 Census. That is one less voice to share our Ohio values and policy interests in national decision-making. Census 2020 is the most important thing we can do together,” an Ohio Complete Count Commission Member stated.
Businesses also use census data to determine where to build factories, offices, and stores (which in turn, provides jobs).
Additionally, local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness.
Real estate developers even use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
Even residents utilize the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, consumer and quality-of-life advocacy.
The U.S. Census Bureau also ensures that your privacy is protected, because it is against the law for the Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household for 72 years.
The law also states that your responses cannot be used against you, and can only be used to produce statistics.
It cannot even be shared with law enforcement.