U.S. CENSUS EFFORTS
The United States Constitution mandates that the nation undertake a census of population every ten years. The purpose of a census is to conduct a count of population and housing and disseminate the results to the President, the states, and the American people. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place, and the challenge is to conduct a 2020 Census at a lower cost per household than the 2010 Census. The Census requires years of planning and requires more than 500,000 temporary workers.
The United State Census Bureau encourages all states to form a Complete Count Committee with the goals of heightening awareness about the 2020 Census and encouraging the populace to participate in the United State Census of Population.
MISSOURI’S CENSUS EFFORTS
The State of Missouri is committed to ensuring Missouri has an accurate count of its citizens during the 2020 census. In December 2018, Governor Mike Parson established the Missouri 2020 Complete Committee. The Missouri Complete Committee is a collaboration of volunteers from the government, businesses, non-profits, and community groups across the state. Its mission is to perform all efforts possible to ensure an accurate and timely count of all persons living in Missouri by focusing its resources on promoting local outreach, identifying hard to count population, and implementing an inclusive statewide outreach program.
WHY THE CENSUS MATTERS TO YOU
The census happens every 10 years. If we aren’t all counted in 2020, Missouri will be shortchanged for the next decade. For every adult and every child that is not counted, our state will lose $1,300 in federal dollars every year. That adds up to $13,000 per person over the next 10 years. Those are funds that we won’t get for our roads and bridges, hospitals, and schools. In 2010, Missouri lost a seat in Congress because not everyone was counted. We can’t risk losing another voice for Missouri in Washington, D.C.
When we all respond, Missouri gets more money to pave our roads and rebuild bridges. When we all respond, our health care programs and community health centers get more funding to take care of our family, friends, and neighbors. When we’re not all counted, hospitals could close, forcing people to drive hours to get care. When we all respond, our schools get important funding to take care of our kids. This includes after school programs and lunches for children.
To learn more about the location of Missouri’s Hard-to-Count populations visit:
To learn how to talk to Missouri’s historically under-counted, read the Missouri Counts Messaging Guide.
What is the census?
- The census is a questionnaire — think of it like a survey. It only asks nine questions. It counts every living adult and child in the United States. It takes place every 10 years. The next census is in 2020.
- The census helps our government figure out how much money each state gets for important programs. The census also determines each state’s representation in Congress.
- The census is part of the U.S. Constitution. It is everyone’s civic duty to respond.
What does the census ask?
- The census asks nine simple questions about the people living in your household. This includes name, age, race, sex, and if you own or rent your home.
- The census will not ask for your income or political party.
- The census will not ask if you are a citizen. You may have heard about this in the news. In the end, this question was not added.
Why is the census important?
- The census helps our government figure out how much money each state gets for important programs. For every person that is not counted, our state will lose $1,300 in federal dollars every year. That adds up to $13,000 per person over the next 10 years.
- The census happens every 10 years. If we aren’t all counted in 2020, Missouri will be shortchanged for the next decade.
- Our community has a lot to gain when we all respond. We can get more funding for roads and bridges, hospitals, and schools.
When is it happening?
- You can expect to get a postcard with instructions from the U.S. Census Bureau in early March 2020. You’ll be able to respond online or by phone.
- Census day is April 1, 2020. If you’re not sure who to count as part of your household, think about who stayed in your home on April 1. For example, if you share custody of a child, you can decide which household to count the child in based on where they stayed on April 1.
- If you respond to the census on time, a census worker is less likely to visit your home.
Who needs to respond?
- It is important that every adult and every child in Missouri be counted. This includes children, grandparents or other family members, friends, and roommates living in your home.
- Regardless of your citizenship status, you should still respond.
How do I respond?
- Starting in March 2020, you can respond at 2020census.gov. You can do it from a computer or on your cell phone.
- You will also be able to call the U.S. Census Bureau to answer the census questions.
- Some households will get the census questions by mail. This is because they may have limited internet access or older adults living in the home.
- The census will be available in many languages. The census will be available online and by phone in 13 languages, including Spanish, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Arabic. The paper version for mailing will be available in English and Spanish.
- The U.S. Census Bureau will provide non-English support materials, such as language guides, in American Sign Language (ASL), braille, and large print. The U.S. Census Bureau’s census questionnaire assistance will include a telecommunication device for the Deaf.
Is my information secure?
- Yes, your information is secure. The U.S. Census Bureau will keep your information private.
- It is illegal for the U.S. Census Bureau to share your information with other government agencies or private companies.
- A census worker will never ask for your Social Security number, or information about your bank accounts or credit cards.
- If you want to make sure the person at your door is really a census worker, check their badge. All census workers have an official U.S. Census Bureau ID badge. The badge should include their name, picture, a Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. They will also be carrying an official bag with the Census Bureau logo and an official letter explaining why they are visiting.
Does the census ask about citizenship?
- No, the census will not ask if you are a U.S. citizen. You may have heard about this in the news. In the end, this question was not added.
Why is the census asking for my phone number?
- The census is only asking for your phone number in case they have questions about your responses to the questionnaire. They will not share your phone number with anyone, including businesses or other government agencies.
- College students? Students who live away from home should be counted at their on- or off-campus residence. Students who are living at home should be counted at their home address.
- Military service members? The U.S. Census Bureau is working with the Department of Defense to make sure families and service members living in barracks or military campgrounds are counted. Service members who are deployed should be counted at their home address.
- Individuals experiencing homelessness? The U.S. Census Bureau has plans to reach individuals experiencing homelessness. People living in shelters should be counted at the shelter. If someone is staying with you, count them as part of your household.
- People in prison or correctional facilities? The U.S. Census Bureau has plans to count individuals living in correctional facilities, detention centers, prisons, and jails. They will be counted in these facilities.
Office of Governor Mike Parson
Attn: John Shikles, Director of Census Operations201 W. Capitol Ave., Suite 216 Jefferson City, Missouri