2020 Census Kicks Off

Angel Benjamin, News Editor

As a new decade rises in earnest on the horizon, the decennial tradition of counting American heads rises along with it as the U.S. Census Bureau begins the long and arduous process of counting the nation’s population.
According to the United States Census Bureau website, the census policy was created to protect the nation’s citizens and ensure proper representation. The site states, “The Founders of our fledgling nation had a bold and ambitious plan to empower the people over their new government.”

The population count every ten years is a requirement that, in turn, affects political decisions, as well as the states’ power and representation. The census determines the distribution of electoral college votes and congressional seats for each state, shaping political power and federal tax dollars, and helping guide federal funding for public services in communities.
Currently, the census is sent to every household by mail. However, this year will present some new options for a select number of respondents who will be able to complete the census by responding by phone or completing the form online. The census itself asks for information from individual households including names, ages, ethnicities, and other details. The U.S. Census Bureau states this information is not shared with any agencies.

Although some citizens might forget to respond or simply choose not to participate, proponents of the census, such as Census Partnership Specialist John Anderson, note that it is important for “schools” and “hospitals.” The census affects many areas: “We get once every ten years to get this right,” says Anderson.