2020 is the Time to Be Counted!

laptop screen with 2020 Census page showingOn April 1, 2020, “Census Day,” the 2020 U.S. Census was officially launched. The census is done every 10 years to count every person and housing unit in the United States.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there are both short- and long-term implications for everyone living in the United States to complete the census as soon as possible.

In the short term, with social distancing in place indefinitely, completing the census either online or by mail is the safest way to ensure that you are counted, rather than having a census employee visiting your home.

In the long term, the census benefits you and your community because it determines the funding level for many public services, grants, and community support so that Iowa and your community get their fair share of federal funding for hospitals and health care; fire and police departments, schools, education, and daycare; roads, highways, and public transportation; housing assistance; medicaid and child health programs; and job training programs.

In the context of the current pandemic, adequate funding for all of these services—especially those related to health care, education, housing, and jobs—is critical to maintaining the health, safety, and well-being of all Iowans.

How to Respond
Almost all households will receive their Census invitation in the mail. Include everyone in your household when you respond and be sure to count your children and infants. You will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone and in a wide range of languages. Accessibility services make it easy for persons with vision, hearing, or other disabilities to respond. It is your civic duty to take part and completing the census is mandatory.

Your Census Response is Safe
The Census Bureau uses your information only for statistical purposes. Your personal information is kept confidential. Your responses are compiled with other homes to produce statistics which never identify your home or any person in your home. The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information and the data collection process is designed with layers of security to keep your information safe and secure. By law, your responses cannot be used against you. The Census Bureau will NEVER ask for social security numbers, bank or credit card numbers, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party.

The Census will NOT ask about citizenship or immigration status.

Resources and Fact Sheets
Census information on the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Indicators Portal (https://indicators.extension.iastate.edu/Indicators/Census/)

U.S. Census Bureau (https://2020census.gov/en.html)

For more information contact Sandra Burke at 515-294-9307 or scburke@iastate.edu.