The U.S. conducts a survey of the nation’s population once every 10 years, but this year, with the coronavirus pandemic, having census-takers going door-to-door isn’t ideal. This puts a little more responsibility on us to complete the task ourselves. Fortunately, the process is quicker and easier than ever–you can respond online, by mail, or by telephone, and it only takes a few minutes of your time.
The 2020 Census asks a few simple questions about you and everyone who was living with you on April 1 of this year. Many families have changed in the past decade owing to divorce, separation, remarriage, having children or kids now living elsewhere. If your household looks different, here are four reasons to feel good about checking “Completed my 2020 Census” off your to-do list today:
1. Our community dollars depend on it
By completing the Census, we’re telling our elected representatives who we are, where we are, what we need most from our community. Accurate population numbers help to determine where over $600 billion in federal funding should go–for schools, roads and many other public services we all depend on. Comparing 2020 Census information with the previous census helps state and local governments set budgets and allocate resources better. For example, a surge in households with young children compared to 10 years ago could support calls for new schools and park playgrounds. An increase in residents over age 60 suggests different needs.
2. It helps others help us during emergencies
During floods, tornadoes and pandemics, having an accurate population count helps first responders, hospitals and aid organizations understand how many people need help and what kind of assistance they might require. This could mean anything from the size of an emergency shelter and whether infant formula is needed, to the best location for COVID-19 testing sites.
3. It establishes a historical record for you and your family
Did you know that after 72 years, you can request a certificate from a past census to learn about your ancestors–or even yourself? Besides helping to complete a family tree, such records can be used as proof to establish age, residence, citizenship, and even a pension or inheritance for anyone over the age of 72 who was counted in the Census as a child or young adult. Now imagine your children, grandchildren or great-nieces and nephews researching your family history in 2072.
4. It’s the law–and it’s used to shape laws
The U.S. Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution under Title 13, U.S. Code, Sections 141 and 193. Results from the 2020 Census will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and your political representation at all levels of government, so it’s important to be counted. All individual and household answers are private and confidential for 72 years, and data is protected from cybersecurity risks.
How to Complete the 2020 Census
Online: Use your smart phone, tablet or computer. To begin, go to https://my2020census.gov/.
By Mail: Paper forms were mailed in March, with follow-up mailings in April to households that had not yet responded. Mail back the form you received in the envelope provided. You can verify that a mailing was legitimate by visiting https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-mail.html.
By Telephone: For English, call 844-330-2020. For Spanish, dial 844-468-2020. For other languages and more information, visit https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond/responding-by-phone.html.
All of us here at Raza & Jones, LLC understand this is a challenging time for our clients. As a family law firm, under St. Louis County’s Order pertaining to COVID-19 we are considered an essential business, and we remain open and available to all our clients. Our entire firm is working remotely, using our Zoom account to meet with clients or speaking by telephone. We are committed to delivering the same high standard of compassionate, effective representation we’re known for, in the face of rapidly changing circumstances.
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Raza & Jones, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. For questions, or to schedule a confidential consultation, call 314-449-8830.