It’s not too late; Respond to 2020 Census through Sept. 30
Star Journal Staff
The 2020 Census has been underway since earlier this year, yet it’s not too late to respond. The once-a-decade census determines how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated every year for the next 10 years. How many citizens respond to the survey will decide things such as emergency response, healthcare, rural business development grants and may determine how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Anyone who has not responded can do that online at 2020census.gov, by calling 844-330-2020, or by returning the paper form that was mailed. It’s important that responders do so using the address where they were living April 1, 2020, and include anyone who was living there at the time.
Those who respond online are less likely to get an in-person visit from a census taker. However, if someone from the Census Bureau does stop by, officials ask for cooperation. Census Bureau employees carry photo identification badges that have a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. All census takers have been trained on social distancing protocols, are issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and follow local guidelines for its use.
Why it’s important to respond and be counted
The once-a-decade population count is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. Responses to the census inform planning and funding decisions for emergency and disaster response, healthcare and hospitals, schools and education, roads and bridges, and other vital community resources. Census responses shape the future for everyone, whether living in a city or a small town, a rural area, on a boat or in an RV. It impacts children, college students and adults of all ages.
A few facts
• Census takers are hired from local communities.
• If no one is home when the census take visits, the census taker will leave a notice with information about how to respond.
• Everyone living in the United States is required by law to complete the 2020 Census.
• If you’re not able to verify if someone else in your household has already responded, such as a roommate or family member, go ahead and respond and include everyone in your household in your response; the Census Bureau eliminates duplicate responses when processing the questionnaires.
• If you own a seasonal or vacation home (where you do not live and sleep most of the time), and you know that no one else usually lives there, you also need to respond online or by phone and answer “no” when asked if you or anyone else is living or staying at that address on April 1, 2020. If you received a questionnaire at your door, you can also fill it out and mail it back.
Answers to the 2020 Census questionnaire are strictly confidential and protected by law. The Census Bureau is not allowed to share personal data with anyone, including other government agencies or law enforcement.
2020 U.S. Census response rates
45.4% Oneida County
40.7% Forest County
31.3% Vilas County
*Statistics as of 08/27/20