Census 2020: What You Need To Know and Why It Matters
Every ten years, the Census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The Census is mandated by the Constitution, and the count includes every person living in the U.S. — regardless of citizenship or immigration status. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790, and it will be first time that households can respond to the Census online.
Participating in the Census is required by law, and an accurate count of the greater Dallas area is critical. Federal funding allocations, school planning efforts, business location and expansion decisions and more rely on Census data. Billions of dollars are at stake, and an accurate count is essential to ensure we have
The results of the Census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as to draw state legislative districts. Currently, Texas has thirty-six congressional seats, but most expect that the Census results will add three more seats for Texas. The state and federal redistricting process begins in earnest after the counts are sent to the states by March 31, 2021.
The Census count’s accuracy is very important. Federal tax money from Texas sent to Washington comes back to Texas based on Census numbers. The federal funds received by Texas is used to support housing, transportation, education, and other services we use. It is estimated that a population undercount as small as one percent could cost Texas $3 billion in federal funds over ten years. With 25 percent of Texans living in hard-to-count areas, our state is at particularly high risk for a significant Census undercount.
Census Day is April 1, 2020, but most households will receive questionnaires and instructions by mid-March. Each household can respond to the Census by phone, by mail, or online. Not returning a questionnaire or submitting a partially filled-out questionnaire may result in a follow-up phone call or visit from a Census worker. Most of the questions will be similar to what Census forms have asked for in recent counts, such as: the number of people living or staying in the home, whether the home is owned with or without a mortgage, rented or occupied without rent The name, sex, age, date of birth and race of each person in the home and the relationship of each person to a central person in the home is also collected.
Any and all Census data collected is kept private and secure. The Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your home, or your business, even to law enforcement agencies until 72 years after the information is collected. Of course, the Census Bureau can release population and demographic information at a level as detailed as a neighborhood.
Apartment owners and managers can help facilitate a complete and accurate count. Through your community’s social media efforts and other communication outreach, you can encourage your residents to participate. If your apartment community has hard-to-count populations living in your community, your role is particularly important in encouraging a questionnaire response. These hard-to-count populations include very young children, immigrants, people of color, rural residents, people with disabilities, and low-income individuals.
To help encourage apartment resident participation, the U.S. Census Bureau has graphics and other collateral material available at www.2020census.gov. To get a better understanding about the Census effort and discuss other resources available you can speak to a Census representative in the Dallas Regional Census Center by calling 972-510-1800 or send an email to Dallas.email@example.com.
If an apartment community achieves a high enough response rate it is unlikely that a Census worker will have to walk the property to collect questionnaire responses. However, starting in May 2020, the Census Bureau will begin following up in person with those that have not responded to the census. Census field work, performed by workers, called “enumerators”, is also done to simply collect and verify addresses or confirm the number of units that exists on the ground matches the bureau’s files.
If a Census worker visits your property to collect information for the 2020 Census, you can verify their identity by making sure that they have a valid ID badge containing their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. If you still have questions about their identity, you can contact the Regional Census Center to speak with a Census Bureau representative. The numbers to call is 800-923-8282.
Please know that the Census Bureau will never ask for a Social Security number, bank account or credit card numbers or solicit money or donations. If you suspect fraudulent Census workers, call the police. You may also call the Census Bureau using the numbers provided. If you have any questions or need additional information contact Jason Simon at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 972-739-9505.