OHIO VALLEY — Have you completed the 2020 Census yet?
Time is running out to complete the Census, with the deadline of Sept. 30, one month earlier than originally planned.
The Census can be completed online, by phone or by mail. For online response visit 2020census.gov. For response by phone call 844-330-2020 from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.
The Census takes place every 10 years to count the number of people living in the United States as required by the United States Constitution.
“Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children. The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP,” states 2020census.gov.
The Census is used for a number of things including determining the number of seats a state has in the United State House of Representatives. It also provides data to assist with redrawing legislative districts.
Responding is important because state, local and federal lawmakers use statistics from the decennial census to help them determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds will be spent every year for the next 10 years.
From infrastructure improvements to school funding, census data is widely used by multiple branches of both the state and federal government to set allocation amounts. Development of new policy and research also depends on the large data set, and when census tracts return lower percentages of respondents, accuracy can be a concern.
Funds influenced by census statistics are used for critical infrastructure and public services such as roads and bridges, hospitals and health care clinics, emergency response, and schools and education.
The information given to the census is confidential for 72 years. It asks for the names of individuals living in a home, their dates of birth and ages. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes.
A portion of the information for the article provided by the United States Census Bureau, census.gov, the Meigs Complete Count Committee and the Gallia Complete Count Committee.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.