Answered By: Harry L. Whitlock II
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2020     Views: 9

Resources:

The US Government has created a website for the census: https://2020census.gov/. This is the best source for information on how the government is conducting the census and the responsibilities of people who live in the United States.

Additional Information:

Constitutional Requirement: The 2020 United States Census is required by Article I of the US Constitution, which states that once every decade the entire population of the United States will be counted and basic information recorded about each person. The Department of Commerce is responsible for this "enumeration" of the US population, which means the counting of all people, citizens and non-citizens. The Census Bureau is a non-partisan agency, meaning that neither major political party influences how the information is collected or what questions are asked.

Questions & Form: The 2020 Census form and the questions asked may be viewed at this website: https://2020census.gov/en/about-questions.html

Important Dates: The official date of the census is April 1, 2020, although in some very remote areas of the US the count began in January 2020. In March 2020, people can respond to the census on-line. This is the first time in US history that online data collection will be conducted. After the official date of the census, census takers will go door-to-door to count people who did not respond. On December 31, 2020, the Census Bureau will provide the report to the President of the United States and the new apportionment of seats in the US House of Representatives.

Congressional Seats & Federal Funding: This reapportionment of congressional seats is an important reason to participate in the census. While the number of US Representatives is capped, where and how many congressional districts are located in each state is determined by the census. A state may lose or gain US Representatives, or remain the same. Since the representatives determine how federal dollars for programs and benefits are distributed, citizens being counted accurately ensures fair and equitable distribution of funding.

Voting & Elections: An extension of the reapportioning of the US House of Representatives seats by the US Census is that the Electoral College votes may be reapportioned as well. Each state's electoral votes is tied to the number of US Representative and US Senators.

Legal Concerns: There is concern among certain segments of the US population that being counted during the census will cause them to be arrested, detained, deported, deprived of benefits, or have legal action taken against them. Federal law prevents any Census Bureau employee for disclosing or publishing any census information that identifies an individual or business. More information about census confidentiality is available at this link: https://2020census.gov/en/data-protection.html

Employment: Employment opportunities with the US Census Bureau are available. Visit this webpage for more information: https://2020census.gov/en/jobs

Wyoming Information:

Specific information about the census in Wyoming is available at: https://ai.wyo.gov/divisions/economic-analysis/2020-census

Certain areas of Wyoming have traditionally been hard to count. In 2010, 79.9% of the state's households returned the mail-in questionnaire. About 34% of Sweetwater County and about 30% of Sublette County did not respond with the mail in form, resulting in more costly and difficult in-person follow-up to obtain the required census information.

More importantly, the lack of accurate information from the census can adversely affect funding and grants for much-needed programs in Wyoming such as SNAP, highway construction funds, Medicaid and Medicare, schools, libraries, law enforcement, and fire.

 

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