Census 101: Everyone Counts

The census counts every person living in the United States once, only once, and in the right place. It’s about fair representation. Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives and determine how many seats each state gets. It’s in the Constitution. The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.

The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs. It’s about redistricting. After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts. Taking part is your civic duty.

Completing the census is mandatory: it’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!” Census data are being used all around you: Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, which create jobs. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality of life, and consumer advocacy. Real estate developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.

It’s against the law for the U.S. Census Bureau to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or your household. By law, your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics. 2020 will be easier than ever. In 2020, you will be able to respond to the census online. You can help. You are the expert- we need your ideas on the best way to make sure everyone in your community gets counted. DON’T BE INVISIBLE. EVERYBODY COUNTS, literally, everyone. Will you be counted in 2020 and demand your share?


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