Census 2020

The ten question Census will be largely digital for the first time, and there are a lot of communities and populations that stand to be left out of the count, including traditionally hard-to-count populations like children, New Americans, and people with limited access to internet and limited experience with technology.

There are a lot of things tied to the Census, including the basic tenets of democracy and representation in our State and Federal government, and, what resonates more with people in studies, state and federal funds received locally; young families are more likely to participate in the Census when they find out it affects funding for their community. Federal funding for Medicaid, local schools, highway planning and construction, CHIP, WIC, SNAP, HEAP, and more are distributed using formulas based on the decennial Census. Similar formulas based on the Census or based on formulas based on the Census are used to allocate state funding for programs like the Community Development Block Grant Program, and Census data is used for planning purposes by businesses and nonprofits. An inaccurate count will result in lost funding, which helps offset state and local funds, and reduced representation at the state and federal levels.

Libraries can help ensure a complete count by partnering with Community Based Organizations, local governments, and anyone interested in getting the word out about the Census. Libraries can also provide support as tech hubs and trusted organizations in their community.

We’ve gathered the following resources to help libraries understand the Census and how they can provide support for complete counts in their communities.

Census Timeline

Road to the 2020 Census[Source: U.S. Census Bureau] Click for full image.

  • Key 2020 Census Milestones – Timeline of Census activity.
    • January 2020 – Census Questionnaire Assistance will be available to answer general questions about the census from mid-January through early September 2020. However, the self-response periodfor the telephone option will run from mid-March through the end of July.
    • February 2020 – The Census Bureau will contact administrators of group quarters (military barracks, college dorms, prisons, and skilled nursing homes, among others) in advance of the enumeration of these locations, which will occur in April.
    • March 12, 2020– The internet self-response period will start as households begin to receive invitations to respond, either through the mail or hand-delivered to households in many rural and remote areas. Households may continue to self-respond through July 31.
    • March 30, 2020 – Service-Based Enumeration (SBE) will begin. This three-day/night enumeration occurs at shelters, locations that provide services for people experiencing homelessness, and targeted outdoor locations where people experiencing homelessness sleep.
    • April 1, 2020 – Census Day! Respondents do not have to wait until April 1 to respond but should include everyone who will be a “usual resident” on April 1. If people aren’t sure, they can wait until April 1 to respond.
    • April 2020 – Group quarters will be counted during April.
    • May 13, 2020 – Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU) will begin. During NRFU, the Census Bureau will follow up with households that did not self-respond to the census by sending reminders and/or visiting in person. NRFU will continue through July. (In communities with large numbers of off-campus college students, NRFU will begin on April 9, to reach students before the academic term ends.)

Sharing the Importance of the Census with your Community

Studies and tests carried out by the Census Bureau show that people are not motivated to complete their Census questionnaire and don’t see a connection between completing the Census and their own lives. One of the most important things the library can do to ensure everyone is counted is to get the word out that the Census is coming, and that funding for things they care about in their community will be affected if they fail to complete the Census. You can use the graphics and videos below to highlight the coming Census in your newsletters, social media channels and other outlets.

 

Graphics for Social Media

 

Graphic

Suggested Captions

A person working on a laptop
  • Long Caption:
    For the first time, in 2020 the U.S. Census Bureau will accept responses online. The library is ready to help! Use our computers or wireless connection to respond to the census in less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee. You’ll still be able to respond by mail. To learn more about what to expect, visit 2020census.gov. #2020Census
  • Short Caption:
    Use the library’s computers or wireless connection to respond to the 2020 census online in less time than it takes to finish your morning coffee. Get more information: 2020census.gov. #2020Census
School children with hands raised for questions
  • Long Caption:
    Every 10 years, the @uscensusbureau undertakes a mammoth task: counting all the people residing in the United States. This count affects the allocation of funding for our community’s public resources (e.g., roads, hospitals, schools), how we plan for the future, and our voice in government. The library is ready to help. Learn more about the importance of the #2020Census and how to participate: 2020census.gov.
  • Short Caption:
    Did you know that the next census will take place in 2020? It will determine future funding, how we plan for the future, and our voice in government. The library is ready to help you respond. To learn more, visit 2020census.gov. 
School children sitting on floor listening
  • Long Caption:
    Every 10 years, the @uscensusbureau undertakes a mammoth task: counting all the people residing in the United States. This count affects the allocation of funding for our community’s public resources (e.g., roads, hospitals, schools), how we plan for the future, and our voice in government. The library is ready to help. Learn more about the importance of the #2020Census and how to participate: 2020census.gov.
  • Short Caption:
    Did you know that the next census will take place in 2020? It will determine future funding, how we plan for the future, and our voice in government. The library is ready to help you respond. To learn more, visit 2020census.gov.
People on a bus
  • What matters to you? Schools? Transportation? Hospitals? Data from the @uscensusbureau help inform planning efforts for all these important community resources. To learn more, about how census data will impact you and our community, visit the library, or check out 2020census.gov. #2020Census
A person working on a laptop
  • The 2020 census is coming! Make sure you’re counted. An accurate census count means that our community will receive the funding, services, and business support we deserve and need. The library is ready to help you complete the census online. To learn more, visit [LIBRARY WEBSITE]. #2020Census
People working at a table
  • We are excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the [COUNTY or TOWN] to support the #2020Census! To learn about the census, how the data collected will be used, and what to expect next, contact us at the library.
People's hands working together to solve a puzzle
  • We are excited to announce that we’ve partnered with the [COUNTY or TOWN] to support the #2020Census! To learn about the census, how the data collected will be used, and what to expect next, contact us at the library.

 

 

Videos for Social Media

How Do I Take the 2020 Census?

Census Basics

 

Shape Your Future

 

How the Census Protects Your Data and Privacy

How Will 2020 Census Data Be Used?

 

More Resources

  • Promotional Materials and Guidelines from the US Census – Guides and tool kits for promoting the Census to your community.
  • PSA Toolkit – The Census Bureau provides resources to help ensure partners and stakeholders have the tools they need to effectively engage their communities.
  • Dollars And Census Planet Money Podcast – This podcast provides a quick 7 minute background on the Census, along with an overview of how the Census determines how much federal funding districts get, and how many congressional representatives they get to elect.
  • Statistics in Schools – Lesson plans that can be adapted for library programs to create awareness about the Census.
  • Census Jobs – A complete count will take work, and the Census needs more people working to get everyone counted. Libraries can direct people to this site to apply for Census jobs.
  • Hudson Valley Hard-to-Count Census 2020 Grant – Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley offering grants for outreach to Hard-to-Count communities (due December 8, 2019).

Maps of Hard-To-Count Communities and Types of Enumeration Area

  • Hard to Count Population Map with Libraries – Use this map to find hard-to-count(HTC) populations in your community. This map includes overlays that help you see where HTC populations are located, what type of mail contact strategy the Census plans for each area, and where libraries are located.  Hard-to-count populations are communities and groups with historically low response rates to the Census including, young children, highly mobile persons, racial and ethnic minorities, non-English speakers, low income persons, persons experiencing homelessness, undocumented immigrants, persons who distrust the government, LGBTQ persons, persons with mental or physical disabilities, persons who do not live in traditional housing.
  • Mail Contact Strategies Viewer – This interactive map shows how the country will be asked to respond to the 2020 Census. Nearly every household will be invited to respond online, by phone or by mail to the census starting in mid-March 2020. Most areas—about three of every four households—will receive an invitation to respond online (or by phone), while the other households will receive a paper questionnaire along with an invitation to respond online. More info about mail contact strategies at the Center for Urban Research.
    • Contact strategies listed include:
      • Internet First, English – Will receive a mailing in English with instructions to complete the census questionnaire online or by phone.
      • Internet First, Bilingual – Will receive a mailing in Spanish and English with instructions to complete the census questionnaire online or by phone.
      • Internet Choice, English – Will receive a mailing in English with instructions to respond online or by phone, along with a paper questionnaire, which can be used to respond.
      • Internet Choice, Bilingual – Will receive a mailing in Spanish and English with instructions to respond online or by phone, along with a paper questionnaire, which can be used to respond.
  • Broadband Access and Adoption Map by Census Tract – Maps broadband access in the U.S.
  • 2020 Census Type of Enumeration Area (TEA) – An interactive map showing the type of enumeration the Census plans to use for each area.
    • Types of Enumeration include:
      • Self-Response – designed to occur in areas where the majority of housing units have mail delivered to the physical location of the housing unit. Self-Response is the primary enumeration methodology for the 2020 Census. Self response will likely be a piece of mail that includes a unique Census ID number, which residents will use in their self-response online, by phone, or through paper.
        Note: the Census ID number is good to use when completing the Census, but it is not necessary to complete the Census. Census responses without Census ID numbers will be matched to their address and Census ID number later to avoid duplicate responses.
      • Update Leave (UL) – designed to occur in areas where the majority of housing units either do not have mail delivered to the physical location of the housing unit, or the mail delivery information for the housing unit cannot be verified. This type of enumeration involves verifying the address and living quarters and leaving an internet self-response form.
      • Update Enumerate (UE) – designed to occur in areas where the initial visit requires enumerating while updating the address frame. UE will occur in areas that were part of the 2010 Census Remote UE Operation, such as northern parts of Maine and southeast Alaska, as well as select American Indian areas that request to be enumerated in person during the initial visit.
      • Military – designed to occur in areas on military installations.
  • Complete Count Committee Map – Find your local Complete Count Committee. Email census.cccmap.list@census.gov to get your CCC on the map.
  • The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) – A mapping application of predicted mail nonresponse rate to the Census. This application was developed to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates available in the Planning Database. Learning about each hard-to-survey area allows the U.S. Census Bureau to create a tailored communication and partnership campaign, and to plan for field resources including hiring staff with language skills. These and other efforts can improve response rates.

Guides to the Organizing and Complete Count Committees

 

Documentation and Studies

  • Title 13, U.S. Code – The privacy of information recorded in the Census is taken very seriously. Private information is never published. It is against the law to disclose or publish any private information that identifies an individual or business such, including names, addresses (including GPS coordinates), Social Security Numbers, and telephone numbers. Violating the law is a serious federal crime. Anyone who violates this law will face severe penalties, including a federal prison sentence of up to five years, a fine of up to $250,000, or both.
  • Kids Count 2018 from Annie E. Casey Foundation – The 2010 U.S. Census failed to count almost 1 million children younger than age 5, and we could make the same mistake in the 2020 Census.
  • New York State Census Focus Groups with Families with Young Children – All participants were unaware that the census affected the levels of funding, and they generally felt that that is a crucial reason to fill out the census.
  • It Pays to be Counted – New York stands to lose $2,600 for each person that goes uncounted.
  • Census Barriers, Attitudes and Motivators Study – Two-thirds of respondents are “extremely likely” or “very likely” to fill out a census form. Many people were unfamiliar with the census, with only 33 percent being “extremely” or “very” familiar. Knowledge about the purpose and process of the census was uneven across groups. The analysis revealed five barriers that might prevent people from participating in the census: concerns about data privacy and confidentiality, fear of repercussions, distrust in all levels of government, feeling that it doesn’t matter if you are counted, and belief that completing the census might not benefit you personally. Funding for public services was a top motivator across groups, yet less than half of respondents knew that the census is used to determine community funding.
  • Preparing for the Digital Decennial Census: Building consent, equity, and safety into digital transition – An analysis of risk, safety and trust for the first-ever digital decennial census from the New School’s Digital Equity Laboratory (DEL), a nonpartisan university center dedicated to advancing digital equity through applied research, convening power, and leadership development.
  • Counting for Dollars Project – This project will identify all federal financial assistance programs relying Decennial Census-derived data to guide the geographic distribution of funds.

 

For more info contact Casey Conlin at cconlin@midhudson.org.

 

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