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Lockhart Community News
Learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census
01/22/2020

In March, Lockhart residents will begin receiving packets containing detailed information concerning participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. Getting a complete count in the Census, which occurs every 10 years, is important to citizens of every community for myriad reasons that include:

  • How many representatives each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • How the lines are drawn that define congressional and state legislative districts.
  • It provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data.

 

Some frequently asked questions and answers:

 

Why is it conducted?

It’s in the U.S. Constitution and is required every 10 years. The last one was performed in 2010, so the time has come.

 

When does it start?

The U.S. Census Bureau’s awareness campaign in which many local governments participate becomes more visible in January. Forms will start hitting residents’ mailboxes in March. The Bureau’s plan is to begin getting people to fill out the forms on April 1. Follow up notices will be sent to households between April and July.

 

Do I have to participate?

Yes. It’s mandatory. Those who don’t participate may be subjected to fines.

 

Is it for U.S. citizens only?

No. You only need to be a resident. The questionnaire asks about citizenship but does not ask for a Social Security number or about any financial matters.

 

What does it ask?

The questions include the names, ages, sex and dates of birth of people living in the household.

 

Will the U.S. Census Bureau share my answers with law enforcement or any other entities?

No. The information you share with the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential. The Bureau says there are safeguards built in to protect private information.

 

How can we fill it out?

The form can be filled out online, by mail and by phone.

 

How is it tied to money?

According to the Texas Demographic Center, the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on Census data. The money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other programs. An undercount of the Texas population of just 1 percent could translate to a statewide loss of about $300 million in federal funding for those programs in communities within the state, according to the Center.

 

How about representation in the U.S. Congress?

The trend has been that the state has gained representation in Congress after each Census. Texas received two additional seats in 1990 and 2000, and four seats following the 2010 Census.

 

 

 

 

Learn more about the 2020 U.S. Census, including how to participate and even how to apply to work as a census taker here.


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