Census 2020: Everyone counts in Southfield!


January 28, 2020

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Census

Census 2020: Everyone counts in Southfield!

The United States Census is mandated by the Constitution to count the populations of states and territories every ten years. April 1, 2020 will be the reference day for Census 2020, the 22nd U.S. Census. Census data is the basis for apportionment of the House of Representatives. For example, ten states lost seats after the 2010 Census. It also guides federal assistance, particularly for grants supporting infrastructure and the social safety net. Medicaid alone accounts for 58 percent of census-guided funding.

Residents will begin receiving their invitations in the mail to complete the 2020 Census in March. This mailing will include all of the information that every resident needs to respond to the Census online, by phone or in the mail by April 1, 2020.  It is vitally important that every Southfield resident participates as Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP. Local governments use the census data to ensure public safety and infrastructure and to plan critical programs and services. Residents use the census findings to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy. Remember: Everyone counts in Southfield!

WHAT’S NEW IN 2020?

Digital: The 2020 Census will be first to use the Internet as the primary (and preferred) means of collecting household data.

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Census invitations will be mailed to every household in the United States beginning in March of 2020.
  • Every resident 18 years of age and older must respond to the Census online, by phone or in the mail by April 1, 2020.
  • The Census Bureau must count everyone and submit state population totals to the President by December 31, 2020.

HISTORIC CHALLENGES

In 2010, the census missed about 2.1 percent of African-Americans and 1.5 percent of Hispanics nationally, together accounting for some 1.5 million. New York City, for example, challenged the 2010 Census for overlooking at least 50,000 New Yorkers.

WHAT IS THE CENSUS AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

  • The census is a count of everyone residing in the United States: in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Island Areas.
  • The census is conducted every 10 years.
  • The first Census was conducted in 1790 and has been carried out every 10 years since then. The next census will occur in 2030.
  • All residents of the United States must be counted. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and non-citizens.
  • Your participation in the census is required by law.
  • The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Section 2) mandates a headcount of everyone residing in the United States.
  • The questions ask you to provide information that is accurate for your household as of April 1, 2020.
  • People should be counted where they live and sleep most of the year.
  • It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.
  • Federal law protects the personal information you share during the census.
  • Households that do not respond by May will be called or visited by a Census worker. (Census workers can be identified by a census badge and bag.)
  • Census data is used to distribute Congressional seats to states, to make decisions about what community services to provide, and to distribute hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds to local, state and tribal governments each year.

Census workers will never ask for bank or social security information. All census information collected, including addresses, are confidential and protected by law. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents’ answers with the FBI, IRS, CIA, Welfare, Immigration, or any other government agency. No court of law or law enforcement agency can find out respondents’ answers. All Census Bureau employees — including temporary employees — take an oath for life to keep census information confidential. Any violation of that oath is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison.