Covid-19 Crisis Affects 2020 U.S. Census Data Collection
24 Jun 2020
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census is conducted across the United States, with the purpose of providing an accurate count of the entire population of the United States. The Census asks American households certain questions such as sex, age, and race of each person in the household. These demographics help determine congressional representation and how much funding each state, county, and community received of the $675 billion per year in federal funding. These funds are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other essential programs.
The U.S. Census data is also very helpful for businesses and developers. Businesses can use Census data to decide the best place for them to locate their business. This data allows business owners to pinpoint the very best area for their business to be as successful as possible. Developers can use this data to help revitalize areas of the country.
The Census data is usually collected via in-person house calls by Census workers. However, since the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 virus, the U.S. Census Bureau has had to stop all door-to-door transactions. The Census Bureau has also halted all in-person activities for their staff. This includes all office work and processing activities. They have increased their call center capacity with employees working from home to gather the Census data.
So, what does this mean for the 2020 U.S. Census? It means that Americans will have to use other means of getting their household data. People can fill out their Census information online, via phone, or by mail self-responses throughout the collection process.
The collection process was originally scheduled to from March 12, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the deadline to October 31, 2020. In-person house calls are postponed until July 1, 2020. The Census data is now rescheduled to be completed and delivered to the President of the United States by April 30, 2021.
Most households received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20, 2020. Each household is also given a Census ID that will need to be input when completing the online Census. For households who want to fill out the Census online visit my2020Census.gov to complete your Census information. Households can also mail in their responses or call 844-330-2020 to complete the Census via phone.
The U.S. Census Bureau is doing its best to ensure that the Census continues while also protecting the health of its employees and fellow Americans. The Bureau is dedicated to gathering the most accurate information from each household to ensure that communities are receiving the funding they deserve. The Bureau urges people to continue to participate in the Census via online, phone, or mail-in responses. Check 2020Census.gov for updates on the Covid-19 crisis and updates on the 2020 Census.
We here at Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program hope our residents are staying safe during this time. Please continue to check back for more information regarding the Covid-19 crisis and how this will continue to affect the 2020 U.S. Census.