The US Census is a federal initiative that every 10 years counts how many people live in the country. This decennial census is required by the US Constitution to be conducted by the US Census Bureau.
And it's important to all Thomasville residents because this census count affects how much federal funding our city gets for various programs for the next 10 years.
Our state could lose about $16,000 in federal funding over a 10-year period for each NC resident who isn't counted in the 2020 Census. Read more here.
That's why the City wants to help you know more about the census and is partnering with Davidson County, the State, and the Census Bureau to bring you this information.
All info provided and linked to below is from official state and federal census-related websites.
What is the Census?
Beginning in March 2020, every household in the country -- people living at the same address -- will be asked by the US Census Bureau to fill out a census questionnaire. Your household must count people, including babies, who live and sleep there most of the time.
Examples of information the census will ask for include:
- How many people are living in your household as of April 1, 2020
- Is the housing unit rented or owned
- Age, sex, race, relationship to the person in the household who is filling out the questionnaire
- Educational levels.
Examples of information the census will not ask for include:
- Social security numbers
- Bank or credit card account numbers
- Money or donations
- Anything on behalf of a political party.
Remember that every household must count
people of all ages and citizenship statuses.
Having an accurate head count of the people in our country, state, county and city and what their needs are or may be in the next 10 years, helps the government budget for appropriate funding for a location's needed services. Those services include roads and utility infrastructure, education, medical, and emergency services, to name a few.When you fill out the census questionnaire, you also help provide a picture of our community that determines where to build schools, hospitals and businesses and how congressional seats are allocated. You also help our city, state and country see how communities have changed over time.
When will I complete the Census?
In mid-March 2020, your household will receive a notice in the mail from the US Census Bureau asking you to take the census online and giving you the website address to go to to fill out the questionnaire. Most areas of the country will likely respond online.
Areas of the US that are less likely to respond online will receive in the mail a paper questionnaire with their notice. The notice will also include information about how to respond by phone or online.
Every household has the option of responding
online, by phone or by mail.
Online responses will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese.
Phone responses will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese (Mandarin, Cantonese), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Japanese.
Paper responses will be available in English and Spanish.
If you miss the initial notice in the mail, you will receive reminder letters and postcards. It doesn't matter which initial notice you get or how you get it, the US Census Bureau will follow up in person with all household that don't respond.
Count Everyone Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place.
The mission of the US Census Bureau is to count every person living in the US regardless of age, race, and citizenship status. Count everyone in your household on April 1, 2020 who lives and sleeps there most of the time.
Visit this Web page for more details on where to count people who are living in special circumstances, such as students away at college, active US military personnel, and people in health care facilities, shelters or transitional places like hotels, and prisons and correctional facilities.
Why is my response important?
Each uncounted person in NC is equivalent to the state forfeiting more than $1,623 in funding per person per year. Multiply that by thousands of uncounted people and you will see why counting every body is important for NC, Davidson County, and Lexington.
Responses to the US Census Bureau help communities get the funding they need and give businesses information to help grow our economy. The data impacts our daily life by helping officials make decisions about and obtain funding for services and infrastructure in our communities, including health care and senior centers, jobs, political representation, schools, roads, and businesses.
Our country’s representative democracy is based on census data. That data is used to determine the number of seats each state has in the US House of Representatives and it is used for redistricting at national, state and local levels.
If NC has an accurate census count, our state is projected to gain an additional seat in the US House of Representatives.
In NC, census data is used for allocation of more than $16 billion annually in federal programs.
Filling out the census questionnaire matters a great deal for NC and hard-to-count populations such as:
- LGBTQ+ community
- Hispanic or Latin individuals
- Children under six
- Native Americans
- Black or African Americans
- Migrant populations
If these populations are miscounted, we all risk losing funding and resources for our communities and an opportunity for fair representation in government.
Will my responses be kept confidential?
According to the US Census Bureau, your responses to the census questionnaire are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics – they cannot be used against you in any way.
Your personal information will never be shared with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies, nor will your information be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits. The results are reported in statistical format only. Your personal information will not be shared.
How will my response be used?
Census data is widely and wisely used.
Some examples include:
- Distributions of more than $675 billion annually in federal funds back to state, local, and tribal governments.
- Redistricting of state legislative districts.
- Forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population.
- Determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.
- Assisting federal, tribal, state, local governments in planning and implementing programs, services, and emergency response.
- Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.
What about the citizenship question?
A question asking if you are a US citizen will not be on the US Census 2020 questionnaire.
After a more than year-long legal fight, three federal courts have blocked the government from using the official US Census 2020's head count to ask about the US citizenship status of every person living in every household in the country.
But the US Census Bureau, which conducts more than 100 random and voluntary surveys for the federal government, does ask about citizenship on other forms and surveys. This has caused confusion around the country, according to news reports.
Unlike the official US Census 2020, these other optional forms and surveys collect responses from only a sample of households, and their results produce anonymous citizenship data that the government has relied on for years.
- Jan 20
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The Census Bureau does not identify individuals in the data we publish. We only publish statistics. Our policies & statistical safeguards help us ensure the confidentiality of your information. https://go.usa.gov/xdxPt
- Jan 20
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Read about the unique experience of kicking off the census in Alaska's remote villages from an area census manager who oversaw the 2010 effort in this new 2020: In Focus story: https://go.usa.gov/xdCkY #2020Census
- Jan 20
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#Teachers: Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Give your elementary school students a history lesson with this activity that looks at census data to examine how the lives of African-Americans have changed since King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963. https://go.usa.gov/xdx4C #StatsInSchools