The 2020 Census is here and it’s not too late to complete it! It is important to fill it out so that local agencies (PPLD included!) have accurate information to use when designing community services. It's safe, easy, and required for all citizens to fill out.
In March, homes across the country received invitations to complete the 2020 Census with instructions for responding to the census online, in the mail, or over the phone.
Remember that April 1 is a reference date, not a deadline to respond. When you respond online, by phone, or by mail, count everyone living in your home as of April 1, 2020.
Beginning in August 2020, households that haven't responded yet may receive an in-person visit or call from a Census Bureau employee to help make sure everyone is counted.
As of June 11, El Paso County’s self-response rate, is now at 68.6%, which is higher than Colorado’s self-response rate of 63.4%! We are ranked number 18 in response rates by state, and higher than the national self-response rate of 60.8%!
Here’s a quick refresher of what it is and why it’s essential that everyone is counted.
- 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, determining 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.
- It’s about $675 billion: 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 (like libraries!).
- 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:
- Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
- 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.
- Real estate developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
Your privacy is protected.
It’s against the law for the 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.
The Census Bureau uses a different method to count people in group living situations, called “group quarters,” such as college student housing, prisons, military barracks, and nursing homes. People experiencing homelessness (and who are not staying in a household) will be counted at the places where they receive services, such as shelters and soup kitchens.
2020 will be easier than ever.
In 2020, you will be able to respond to the census online. The online questionnaire will be available in 13 languages.