We’ve all got a lot going on, so the approaching 2020 Census might not be at the top of your mind, but it’s worth putting on your radar (don’t worry, we’ll help you get there!) Today’s post is designed to fill you in on all the details on how you can help make it more effective.
What is The Census?
The Census is an official survey of the entire U.S. population. But the Census goes beyond just a total headcount. It provides an overarching view of America that determines how the federal and national budgets are allocated, how congressional seats are appointed, where businesses choose to expand their companies, and many more factors. The Census has far-reaching effects that go beyond a numerical analysis. It can have a profound impact on the country and you, yes YOU, as an individual--politically, economically, and socially.
Why Does it Matter?
When it comes to the Census, accuracy is key. Undercounting the population is not uncommon and it skews the collective data. As a result, it inaccurately determines how funds are distributed and how various regions of the country get represented. Imagine you weren’t accounted for at school, so when it came time for the class field trip, there was no seat on the bus for you. The same thing happens when people are not accounted for in the Census and so they get excluded from many of its benefits.
The fear of undercounting is a growing concern for the Census this year because the administration added a question regarding legal citizenship. This will likely suppress participation among undocumented residents and students supposedly protected under DACA who fear revealing their citizenship status to Census workers. If undocumented families avoid the Census, their children, many of whom are U.S citizens, will not be accounted for. This means roughly 6 million children will be excluded from the reports, resulting in significantly less funding for schools, extracurricular programs, and hospitals. Make sure you and your friends are included in the Census to help activities, such as music classes and sports teams, be added or continued at your school.
How Can You Help?
Children are among the most undercounted in the U.S. Census. If you are in a family with children or teenagers, make sure your parents participate and include everyone in their reporting. It doesn’t hurt to have a conversation about the Census with your family to learn more about it and maybe even share what you’ve learned from this blog post. Also, be sure to say “YES!” to your community’s participation in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA). LUCA involves updating addresses for a complete count of all households that can then be surveyed. The last day for your community to be counted in the 2020 Census is June 1, 2018. So, make sure your current address has been logged--especially if you have moved recently--to ensure you will be counted. For more information on LUCA, follow this link: https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/about/luca.html