Get Ready for the 2020 Census

Census Day is April 1st, 2020. From March to June, census administrators will be surveying individuals and families. It is important that everyone is counted, since census data is used to determine government representation and the funding of federal programs.

This video series is a good resource for learning more about how the census works and why full participation is essential. The census is particularly important for nonprofit organizations—clients may depend on federally-funded programs, and marginalized populations who have less stable living conditions are at risk of not being counted by the census. Our community has additional issues in that we are rural and lack of access to transportation and technology may impact census participation numbers. Unfortunately, those who are most likely to be missed by the census are often those who are impacted most by the programs and funding that are decided by census data.

Get ahead of the game by making sure you’re prepared to participate! Pledge to be counted, and put Census Day on your calendar to make sure you don’t forget to fill out your census form! You can fill out your form online, by mail, or even over the phone. Encourage your friends and family to participate, and inform everyone that any personal information shared with the Census Bureau is secure. Remember, participating in the census helps your whole community!

What Organizations Can Do

In order to assist in complete count efforts, nonprofit organizations can help their clients become more informed and aware. Make sure that clients know that their personal information will not be distributed by census takers and why it’s important that they participate. Organizations may also provide resources to increase census accessibility, like providing a computers for clients to use to fill out their census forms. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 20 percent of people in the U.S. don’t have Internet access at home, hindering their ability to participate in the census. Though people can respond by mail or phone, filling out an online form is the easiest and fastest way for people to participate, and making technology accessible could increase participation rates.

To learn more about how nonprofits are aiding census efforts in 2020, read this article from the Star Tribune.