Make Sure You Count

— Written By

Welcome to 2020! While the new decade has been a tad chaotic with current events, one thing that happens every ten years is the U.S. Census. The census counts everyone who lives in the United States and any of the territories (such as Puerto Rico and Guam). It is important that everyone is counted, including newborns, foreign citizens currently residing in the U.S. and even those experiencing homelessness. Everyone who lives at your address should be counted, including grandparents or aunts and uncles living with your family. Everyone is required by law to complete the census, but sadly many populations are still undercounted, it is vital that you encourage your family and your community to do their part. In case anyone in your community is worried, all information reported in the census is confidential so please encourage the hesitant to make sure they count.

It is clear how important it is to know how many people are living in our country and the Census does a lot more than just establish population counts. The information collected determines your representation in Congress, ensuring districts are properly defined and your voice is heard. It decides billions of dollars of federal and state funding that will be allocated to our county, our schools, our hospitals, and so much more! The most important reason to make sure you are counted this year is that it will be another ten years before the next census comes around, and the data collected will inform legislation until 2030.

With the sudden change in how we conduct life due to COVID-19 there is some concern about how to best complete the Census. Most homes have already received paperwork from the U.S. Census Bureau with a 12 digit ID allowing you and your family to complete the Census online. If internet access is an issue for you no problem. After April 1st anyone who hasn’t completed the online census will receive a paper questionnaire by mail. You can fill this out and send it to the return address on the provided envelope. If you did not receive this mailing or lost it, you can still complete it online or by calling the number 844-330-2020 for English (if Spanish is your home language call 844-468-2020). If you have any questions please visit 2020census.gov.

We are living in unsure times and now more than ever it is vital to make sure you count, numbers produced from the 2010 Census are helping determine many COVID-19 efforts today so make your voice count today!

Written by Mackenzie Roche (Active member of the Lee County Young Commissioners 4-H Club, 4-H Bronze Ambassador, & 4-H Lee County Council Representative) Thanks for this valuable information Mackenzie!