Census 101: What you need to know
The 2020 Census is closer than you think! Here's a quick refresher of what it is and why it's essential everyone is counted.
- Everyone Counts. The census counts every person living in the U.S. 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.
- It's about redistricting. After each decade’s census, stateocials 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.
- 2020 will be easier than ever. In 2020, you will be able to respond to the census online.
- You can help. You are the expert—we need your ideas on the best way to make sure everyone in your community gets counted. Contact Administrative Services Director Inga Cushman at City Hall at 608-868-6900 ext. 5 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have an idea or you are interested in helping on Milton's Complete Count Committee.
[Source: U.S. Census Bureau]