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U.S. Census 2020

The City of Lockhart supports 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.

 

Have you received your invitation to participate? The online questionnaire is officially live. Go here to complete your 2020 U.S. Census.


How does the COVID-19 situation affect the Census?

The Census Bureau says it is closely monitoring COVID-19 and the health, safety, and well-being of its staff and the public remains its top priority. The Census Bureau says responding when you receive your invitation in the mail will minimize the need for it to send census takers out into communities to follow up.

 

Census data helps shape the distribution of resources during emergency situations and response priorities at the local, state, and federal levels. Respond online or by phone without delay to help ensure an accurate count and optimally prepare for future potential emergencies.

Here are some answers to questions frequently being asked about the Census and how it relates to the situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Census workers in the field: There will be no field operations until April 15 at the earliest.
  • Self response options will include a paper form for people who have not yet responded to earlier invitations. These will arrive April 8-16.
  • The self-response deadline has been changed: It is now August 14.
  • The Census non-response follow-up will be conducted May 28-August 14.
  • College students, even if temporarily sent home due to COVID-19-related school closures, should indicate their location on April 1 to ensure an accurate count.
  • Residents in Group Quarters (nursing homes, RV parks, Gary Job Corp Center, detention facilities) are being urged to fill in the Census online.

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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 ramped up 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.

 

 

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