What is the Census?
The Census, mandated by Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution, is our once-in-a-decade chance to count the nation’s population. It is used to estimate the population of cities, counties, and states and to collect general information (sex, ethnicity, age) about households. The data from the Census will be used to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funds annually and will dictate how we are represented at the state and federal level.
The Census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency, and counts the population in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories. Americans will take the census by responding to a short questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail.
Get the 101 on the 2020 Census from the United States Census Bureau
Why is it important to participate?
Having a thorough and accurate count of Augusta will benefit our community greatly for the next decade. Federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and cities are based on population totals and demographic information. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, an under count in Augusta means we could miss out on approximately $54,756 in federal funding over the next 10 years for each household that is missed in the 2020 Census. That funding which could be going towards enhancing quality of life, improving infrastructure, and providing tax relief will instead go right down the drain.
In addition, the 2020 Census will provide a valuable source of information about our community and region for the next 10 years. It is not just the federal government which uses the data from the Census. Businesses use it to decide where to build factories. Nonprofits use it to define problems and make decisions about service delivery strategy. Residents use it to create and support community improvement initiatives. The City of Augusta will use it in many different ways, including for future emergency preparedness. We want the individuals and organizations in Augusta and the greater Wichita MSA to make the best decisions possible, and to do that they need the best information possible.
How do I take the census?
The 2020 U.S. Census will mark the first time you will be able to respond to the questionnaire online. Beginning in March 2020, every residential address in the country (including houses, apartments, and mobile homes) will receive an invitation in the mail to take the U.S. Census. Recipients will be able to respond in three ways - online, by phone, or by mail. The invitation will contain simple instructions for each method. The time required to complete the census form will vary depending on your household size, but should require only a few minutes per household member.
By April 1, 2020 (Census Day), every household in the U.S. should have received an invitation. Starting in May, census workers will begin following up with households who did not complete the Census.
How secure is the Census?
Security and confidentiality of your household’s information is a top priority of the U.S. Census Bureau. See the infographic below and visit the United States Census Bureau website for more information.