By: UW-Parkside Marketing & Communications
The 2020 Census is happening now! Check this page for more detailed information about what the census is, why it's important, and how you can be counted! You can find more information at https://2020census.gov/.
What is the Census?
The U. S. conducts a census – or count of the entire population – every 10 years as required by the U.S. Constitution. The census launched in mid-March 2020. Census Day is April 1, 2020. The more people counted means more federal dollars and more fair elections.
Your response matters. Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Even roads and highways. The census can shape many different aspects of your community. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. The results also determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.
Did you know that Wisconsin was ranked #1 in responses in the 2010 Census? With your help, we can do it again in 2020!
How to Respond
The census can be taken online, over the phone, or by mail. You can find more information about this on this page.
Kenosha County has an official 2020 Census Facebook page that you can follow as well. You can find that here. Racine also has an official page, which you can find here. You can find sample questionnaires, videos, and a wealth of information. 95 percent of the country, or about 143 million households, will receive an initial invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in their mailboxes between March 12 and 20.
IF YOU ARE A UW-PARKSIDE STUDENT LIVING ON CAMPUS, the university has already responded with the total number of on-campus residents. You do not need to submit anything. (UPDATE 3/25: In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, all campus buildings are closed at this time)
IF YOU ARE A COMMUTING STUDENT, you can fill out the census online, over the phone, or via mail. There are lots of community events that you can look out for and you can always check the pages for information! Don't forget to be counted!
Your privacy matters
When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used ONLY to produced statistics. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. The law ensures that your private information is never published and that your answers cannot be used against you by any government agency or court.
Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Overview
During the 2020 Census, more than 4,000 U.S. Census Bureau staff,
called Census Response Representatives, will be in communities
around the country that have low response rates to help people
respond to the census. (These staff are separate from the census
takers who will visit households that do not respond.)
Census Response Representatives will visit events and key locations such as grocery stores and markets, houses of worship, community festivals, public transit hubs, libraries, community centers, and other locations where people naturally gather. There, the representatives will help people submit their census response either on a Census Bureau tablet or on the person’s own device.
How is the census bureau identifying low response araes for mobile questionnaire assistance?
- We will select initial locations based on 2020 projected response rates.
- After the 2020 Census begins, we will use actual response rates to identify ongoing locations on a weekly basis.
How can people identify official census response representatives?
- All 2020 Census staff will have an ID badge that includes: their name, their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.
- Census Response Representatives will also wear teal shirts and have an official bag and a Census Bureau-issued tablet -- all bearing the Census Bureau logo.
- Locations will be identified with banners bearing the 2020 Census logo.
When will mobile questionnaire assistance be available?
Census Response Representatives will visit locations from March 30 through the end of census response operations in July 2020.
How long do I have to respond?
Invitations were sent out between March 12-20, but responses will be collected through July. You can respond online, by phone, or by mail. If a household does not respond, a census taker will follow up in person to collect a response.
What kind of questions does the 2020 Census ask?
The 2020 Census asks how many people are living or staying at each address. For each person, we ask about name, sex, age, date of birth, relationship, Hispanic origin, and race. We also will ask whether the housing unit, such as the house, apartment, or mobile home, is owned or rented, and for contact information in case additional information is needed. (More info)
Will the census form be available in different langauges?
Yes. You can respond online in English and in 12 additional languages: Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese. (Click here for a sample 2020 bilingual questionnaire)
The online questionnaire conforms with the latest web accessibility guidelines. There is also a video in American Sign Language to guide you through responding online. We’ll also make help available by phone in those same languages.
You can respond by phone in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. The paper form can be completed in English or Spanish.
How is census data used? Will my information be disclosed to other agencies?
By law, the U.S. Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics. 2020 Census results will help in directing billions of dollars in federal funds to communities for schools, roads, and other public services. Results from the 2020 Census will also help to determine the number of seats that each state has in Congress.
Your information is completely confidential and protected by law and cannot be shared with any other government agencies, including law enforcement or immigration officials. Federal law (U.S. Code Title 13, Section 9) protects your privacy and keeps your answers safe and secure. By law, the U.S. Census Bureau can use your responses only to produce statistics.