Get Ready. The Census 2020 starts this March.
Happening every ten years, it’s an honor and privilege to take part in the U.S. Constitution-mandated Census. Since 1790, the Census has taken count of everyone across all ages, races, and ethnic groups. The purpose of obtaining Census data is to determine how communities change and the needs of each particular city. The federal government distributes approximately $600 billion each year to communities across the nation to fulfill those needs. Therefore, it is critical that Denver achieves the most accurate count possible to gain much-needed funds by every single person who completes the Census. The Census is a chance for everyone to be counted, even if you are unable to vote. It’s a civic action that we can all take!
What kind of questions does the Census ask?
The Census was created to be as simple as possible to complete, consisting of only nine short questions and takes under ten minutes to complete. Questions include your age, your sex, and the number of people in your household.
Why does the Census matter so much?
George Washington University estimates that for every Denver resident not counted, the state could lose at least $1,481 per person each year in annual funds, which equates to around $1.4 billion each year. For Denver, it’s important that everyone participates so we get an accurate account of our ever-changing population. This will ensure the city receives adequate funds to meet Denver’s needs.
- Federal, state, and local leaders make decisions about schools, hospitals, emergency services for food and shelter, programs for women, infants, and children, roads, bridges, transportation, job training centers, and many other projects designed to improve your community.
- Residents use the Census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
- Jobs become created when businesses use Census data to decide the most appropriate way to build factories, offices and stores.
- New homes are built and older neighborhoods are revitalized as real estate developers make decisions through data supplied by the Census.
- Using the count from the decennial Census, the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are redistributed based on population. Based on 2020 Census data, it is likely that Colorado could gain an additional House seat, creating Colorado House District 8.
Keeping personal information secure
Privacy continues to be a growing issue. That’s why the Census Bureau takes every measure possible to ensure every piece of information they collect is used only to count every individual. It is a law that the Census cannot share any answers with anyone including other federal agencies and law enforcement entities. To this end, all Census Bureau employees understand the importance of safety and privacy by taking an oath of non-disclosure and are sworn for life to protect the data’s confidentiality. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to five years, or both. In short, your information is safe and secure.
The Census is about to begin.
It is virtually right around the corner. Every household should receive a letter addressed to the residents of their home. The letter will provide the residents with a unique code that they can use to complete their Census online or over the telephone in about 10 minutes. Because when the time arrives, yours and everyone’s participation definitely matters. We’re all in this together. So start familiarizing yourself with it now by learning more at denvergov.org/census2020.
Information provided by 2020 Census/Denver