I hope everyone is enjoying their summer!
Next year may seem a long way off, but the U.S. Census Bureau is already preparing for the 2020 census, the primary purpose of which is to determine, based on population, how many seats each state will have in the House of Representatives. The census also helps determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities. This decennial event is mandated by the Constitution: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. Census results provide a wealth of important information:
Benefit to Communities: Federal funding is allocated based on population totals and breakdowns by age, race, sex and other factors. Communities benefit most when the census counts everyone; hospitals and health care, fire departments, infrastructure, police and public safety, roads, schools and other vital programs are the leading beneficiaries of such funding. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
Benefit to Businesses: The census provides current data on communities, including population trends/ projections and information on demographics. Businesses use these data to inform decisions regarding expansions, hiring strategies and other business practices.
Your Information is Confidential
The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code to keep your information confidential, and every census employee takes an oath to protect your personal information for life. The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics; the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about you, your household or your business, even to law enforcement agencies. The law ensures your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.
The Trump administration’s plan to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census—which would ask all census respondents to declare whether they are a citizen of the United States—was blocked by the Supreme Court in June.
2020 Census Timeline
Counting every person living in the United States is a massive undertaking, and efforts begin months in advance:
- The Census Bureau opened 39 area census offices earlier this year and will open the remaining 209 offices by September.
- In January 2020, the Census Bureau will begin counting the population in remote Alaska.
- April 1, 2020, marks Census Day nationwide. By this date, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Citizens can respond online, by mail or via phone.
The U.S. Census Bureau is hiring! Thousands of people from across the country are being recruited to assist with the 2020 Census count. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and have a valid Social Security number.
Jobs for the 2020 Census offer competitive wages, which are paid weekly, as well as paid training. In addition, employees doing fieldwork are reimbursed for authorized work-related expenses such as mileage. Pay rates vary by position and location. Jobs with the Anchorage Area Census Office pay $22.50-$28.50/ hour. For more information, including an online job application, visit www.2020census.gov/jobs.
2020 Census Tribal Liaison training strives to ensure that census information is available to Tribal governments. Federally recognized Tribes are encouraged to send their designated liaisons, who will be eligible for reimbursement for lodging and airfare to attend at the recommendation of their Tribal government’s leaders. Trainings will be held Aug. 6 in Bethel, Alaska; Aug. 8 in Anchorage, Alaska; and Aug. 9 in Fairbanks, Alaska. For more information, email Tribal Partnership Specialist Donna Bach at Donna.E.Bach@2020census.gov or call (323) 791-2381.
The census is important. When the time comes, I urge you to stand up and be counted!