Why the 2020 census is important
This year, the U.S. Census Bureau will oversee a complete count of everyone living in the United States. Mandated by the Constitution and conducted every ten years, the census provides essential information that helps determine how federal resources are allocated across the country. Over $1 trillion in federal money will be allocated based on the results of the 2020 census.
A complete count is critical for several reasons. It ensures our communities in northeastern Pennsylvania get their fair share of federal funding to support hospitals, schools, police and fire departments, infrastructure improvements and more; it tracks how our area has changed over time, providing insights about where new schools, medical facilities or businesses are most needed; states rely on the data to redraw legislative districts; and it determines how many seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Understanding the census
This 2020 census is nothing to fear – it’s non-partisan, safe and confidential. Census employees are bound by law to keep individual responses private, including from law enforcement agencies. Census employees who violate these laws can be punished by a fine of up to $250,000, a five-year prison sentence, or both.
Between March 12-20, you will receive an invitation to respond to the 2020 census. You can complete it by mail, phone, or, for the first time, online. You can take a look at a sample survey on the 2020 census website here. Keep in mind that the Census Bureau does not ask for a donation, your social security number or your bank account information. If you receive something that does, it is not from the Census Bureau.
Work for the census
Did you know you can make some extra money while helping to get everyone counted in our area? It’s not too late to apply to be a census taker for this year’s survey. These are temporary positions that offer flexible hours, reimbursable expenses, and competitive pay; positions in the Eighth Congressional District pay between $16-$18 per hour, depending on which county you live in.
Watch this video to learn more about what the 2020 census is, how data are used and secured, how it affects representation and how you can complete it. If you have additional questions, visit 2020census.gov.