What is the Census?
As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the census is a once every-decade count of everyone living in the country. Knowing how many people live in a community better equips organizations and businesses to evaluate the services and programs needed, such as clinics, schools, and roads. It also determines how seats in Congress are distributed among the 50 states. In March of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will send every household an invitation to complete a simple questionnaire about who lives at your address on April 1st. You will have the opportunity to respond online, by phone, or by mail.
Why take the 2020 Census?
Census data is used to:
- determine the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives (apportionment) and to redraw legislative district boundaries (redistricting);
- allocate federal funds to local communities each year;
- plan for resident needs such as new roads and transit, schools, health care facilities, and emergency services;
- make business decisions about product and service development and placement and business locations.
How do I take the 2020 Census?
The 2020 Census will be the first time that households have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone.
In mid-March 2020, most households will receive an invitation in the mail encouraging them to respond online. Areas with households that are less likely to respond online will receive paper questionnaires with their invitations. Responding by phone is also an option. The Census Bureau will follow-up with households that have not responded beginning in May 2020.
Who should be counted?
You should count every person living in your home on April 1, 2020. This includes infants and grandparents, citizens and non-citizens, family members and non-family members. If someone is living in your home and therefore using city resources, they should be counted there.
Help us spread the word!
Because the Census is so important to our community, we're asking for your help in making sure everyone knows about the Census.
- Follow Harrisonburg on social media
- Census videos
- Additional Census information and promotional materials can be found online through www.2020Census.gov