What is the 2020 Census?

a census worker talk to a woman on her front porch - what is census

You may be wondering: what is census and why is it important? Learn about how information is collected and why it matters.

As a recent immigrant, this is my first time participating in the census and I am excited about the opportunity. Someone might wonder, what is Census and why does it matter? Some people in the USA are unsure about responding.

I still remember a government worker knocking on our house door in Baghdad. He was asking my father questions about the people living in the house. My father was calm when answering those questions, but I was scared thinking that my father is in trouble with the government.

My father told me later about the census. He said that governments count the people living in the country to prepare for their future needs. Here in the United States, it happens every ten years. The information is used to determine the fair sharing of resources between the communities such as schools, housing, and employment funding. 

What to expect
Between August and October of 2019, Census workers will be visiting different areas around the US to make sure that all the addresses are correct.
 The workers will carry a government identification card, a bag, and a laptop with the Census office logo on it.

What happens next?
In early 2020, every address will receive information in the mail on how to complete the census. You will be asked questions about the people in your house, including their age and race.

Why is it important?
Participating in the census is our civic responsibility, and it helps in election practices. It is also important for the government to know how many people live in a city or a state. They want to give the right financial and other resources to support those services. It also helps the local government to understand the needs of the community better.

How to complete the census  
You will have multiple ways to respond to the questions. You can complete the papers online, on the phone, by mail, or with the help of a government employee. Any of these ways are good as long as the information provided is correct.

Conducting the census is not an easy task because it requires a lot of people to work together. We can make it successful by participating and encouraging others to participate. People might not realize why it is important, or they may have wrong information. I am proud to fill in the form because I understand the importance of counting all the people in my community. I will also be encouraging my friends and family to participate.

If you are unsure about the people coming to your door asking for information, you can ask them questions. It is a part of their job to explain what is going on. Asking a person you trust to make sure that you are taking to real Census employees is a good idea too. You can visit the Census website to learn more.

Learn more

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