It’s almost time for the 2020 United States Census! Here’s your guide to the 10 things you need to know about the census, how it is taken, and what you can do to get involved!
- You should receive your invitation to participate in the U.S. Census by April 1, 2020.
Every household should receive an invitation to participate in the census by this date. If you do not receive yours, you can call (405) 815-6552 to inquire.
- You can now respond online!
Want to keep from having someone knock on your door to get your count in the census? Fill it out online! It takes less than 15 minutes. Of course, you still have all the traditional ways to respond–you can talk to a census taker in person, talk to someone on the phone, or you can fill out and send in a paper questionnaire. However, the most convenient option for you is to fill it out online, and you are far less likely to have anyone knock on your front door.
- Your information is kept strictly confidential.
In fact, it is illegal for your information to be shared with any government agency, and anyone that does so can face severe penalties. Your information is kept private and confidential. The goal of the census is to count the physical amount of people in this country. Because of that, none of your information can be reported to the IRS, FBI, or immigration enforcement. Also, your eligibility to receive government benefits is not affected by your participation in the census.
- The census determines the amount of federal funding Oklahoma will receive.
According to www.okletscount.org, Oklahoma could lose up to $1,675 per person without accurate census numbers. Do we want our piece of the nation’s 675 billion dollar “budget pie”? Then it is super important for us to fill out our census forms. Also, if we are struck with a natural disaster, FEMA gives us aid based on these numbers.
- Oklahoma is 100,000 people away from gaining another U.S. Representative.
Census numbers are used to reapportion U.S. Congress. If our census numbers show that Oklahoma has grown by at least 100,000 people, then we could gain another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Another seat means another vote in congress.
- Census data is used for redistricting.
After every census, federal and state legislative districts are redrawn to accommodate the shift in population. Your participation in the census helps to give a better idea of where these boundaries should be, ensuring that all of us (and all of our votes) are appropriately represented in state and local governments.
- Federal student grants are determined from the most recent census data.
Each state’s colleges and universities are given federal funds based on census data to distribute for student grants. Grants are funds that you DO NOT have to pay back. If we do not have an accurate census number, then our state might not get as much money to go into the hands of our students attending our state’s colleges and universities. Accurate census data also gives these places more money to provide better safety, wellness programs, and other things that directly benefit students.
- The census plays a role in local schools and economies.
Schools use census data to make their school district’s boundaries to prevent overcrowding. Municipalities use census data to determine where to place emergency services and where more public services may be needed. Both small and big box businesses use census data in order to determine the best place to build their next store or business. Accurately filling out your census form could potentially help bring more businesses to Yukon and can make our city a safer place to live.
- You can get a job as a census taker.
Need a job? Go to 2020census.gov/jobs and take a look! Available jobs can include clerks, recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, field supervisors, and census takers. Positions are available nationwide and offer flexible hours such as evenings and weekends.
- You can help get everyone counted in the census!
Do you want to help get accurate census numbers? There are small things you can do to help! First off, share this post to remind people that census time is near. If you are a business owner or supervisor, you can send an email to your employees to remind them to fill out their census data. Another great thing to do would be to add a census reminder to the signature line of your emails.
The most important thing to remember is that every person counts! In order to get accurate data, we need YOU to participate in the 2020 census!