The 2020 census is here! Starting this week, you and every resident in the United States will receive a notice in the mail asking you to complete the census. This questionnaire is sent from the Census Bureau and collects important information every 10 years about the American people and our economy.
As a community health center that receives federal funds, Mary’s Center is partnering with the census to make sure our community gets counted and has access to life-changing programs.
It is extremely important that you complete the census questionnaire because the information collected will help inform funding decisions for programs you may benefit from and for places like Mary’s Center.
Here are answers to common questions about the census:
Why should I complete the census?
The census allows you to tell the government that you live here, you belong here, and that you and your community need public funding for health services including Medicaid, housing vouchers, WIC and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), education programs, and many other services.
Ensuring the government has accurate information is vital for times when funding is low and decisions have to be made to cut certain programs. When you answer the census questionnaire, you are helping organizations like Mary’s Center to continue to provide the necessary programs that you and the community need and depends on.
The allocation of the $765 billion designated by the census will depend on the number of people responding to the questionnaire.
How long will it take to complete the census?
The census only has five questions and on average it takes less than 10 minutes to complete. It may take a few more minutes if you are filling out the form for everyone in your home. Please know that only one form should be filled out for each home.
Who should I include when I fill out the census?
If you are filling out the census form for everyone in your home, you should count everyone who is living with you as of April 1, 2020. This includes any friends or family members who are living and sleeping there most of the time. If someone is staying in your home on April 1 and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response.
Please also make sure to count roommates, young children, newborns, and anyone who is renting a space in your home. These people are often missed in the census. This means they can miss out on resources for themselves and their communities over the next 10 years.
What happens if I don’t participate in the census?
Not participating in the census will give the wrong message that fewer people live in the country and fewer community resources are needed.
Does the census ask about citizenship?
There are NO questions about citizenship on the census, and you do not need to be a citizen in order to be counted in the census.
What happens to the personal information I provide in the census?
The personal information you provide is kept safe. The Census Bureau is prevented by law from sharing your personal information to any other party – governmental, public, commercial or private.
The information will only appear as statistical summaries, and it is not possible to identify the person or business whose details were recorded in the questionnaire.
How do I fill out the census?
There are 3 ways you can respond:
- Online at 2020census.gov
- By mail
- Over the phone:
- 844-330-2020 (English)
- 844-468-2020 (Spanish)
- 844-494-2020 (French)
If you don’t respond by the end of April, a Census Taker from your community will follow up in person to assist you.
Watch this brief video to learn more about the 2020 Census, and please share it with your friends and family!
If you have additional questions about the Census please call the Census Bureau Customer Service Center at 1-800-923-8282 or 301-763-INFO (4636).
You can also call the Washington, DC and Maryland Regional office at 1-800-262-4236, or come to Mary’s Center.