Census 2020

Over two hundred years ago, the first United States Census took place. At that time, there were roughly four million people; today the population has increased to roughly 329 million people.

The census takes place every decennial, which means the next census will occur in 2020. We’re hearing a lot of talk about the importance of the census and why an accurate count is important.

The census, at its highest level, informs us how many people currently live in the nation. Equally important, the census is tied to funding for non-profits and government agencies. This funding supports Medicaid, highways, low-income households, rural communities, older adults and caregivers, to name a few. It also ensures that we have the appropriate representation in our government. That’s why it’s so important to get an accurate count.

Census Day is observed nationwide on April 1. By this date, every home will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You should respond to the invitation in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail (most contact is by mail). Here are several tips to help you through the census process as presented by AARP:

  • Do verify that a census taker who comes to your home is legitimate. They should have a Census Bureau photo ID badge (with a Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date) and a copy of the letter the bureau sent you. You can also search for an agent’s name in the Census Bureau’s online staff directory.
  • Do confirm the questionnaire you’ve received is on the Census Bureau’s official list of household surveys.
  • Do check that a census mailing has the National Processing Center in Jeffersonville, IN return address. If it’s from somewhere else, it’s not from the Census Bureau.
  • Don’t give your Social Security number, mother’s maiden name, or bank/credit card numbers to someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau. Genuine census representatives will not ask for this information.
  • Don’t reply, click links or open attachments in a suspicious census email. Forward the message to [email protected].
  • Don’t trust caller ID — scammers can use “spoofing” tools to make it appear they’re calling from the Census Bureau. Call the National Processing Center at 800-523-3205 or 800-877-8339 (TDD/TTY) to verify the phone survey is legitimate.

For more information about the 2020 United States Census or if you have questions, visit 2020census.gov. The Census Bureau website also includes a page on fraud and how to spot census scams by mail, phone, email and home visit.

Shape your future and get counted!

Jason W. Swanson

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