March 2, 2020

Why the 2020 Census is Important

March 2, 2020

Stand Up. Be Counted! Participate in the 2020 Census

The census is a count of everyone living in the United States. This mandatory count is required by the U.S. Constitution and is conducted every 10 years. Census data is confidential. Your answers are protected by law. It is illegal for the Census Bureau, or its employees, to share your personal information with any other government agency, including local law enforcement, IRS, Health and Human Services (HHS), FBI, ICE, and other agencies.

Everyone gets counted. This includes people of all ages, background, citizens and non-citizens. Federal law protects the personal information you provide during the census.

The census happens March 2020. Census invitations will be mailed or delivered to every household in the nation starting in mid-March. The survey will ask you to provide information that is accurate for your household or where you reside most of the year, as of April 1, 2020. Census answers can be completed online, by phone, or by mail.

Your Participation is Important. Here’s Why:

Every count contributes to how our communities are represented and how programs are funded, including:

  • Medicaid
  • Medicare Part B
  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Reproductive Health Programs
  • Health Center Programs
  • Substance Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Block Grants
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

For every 100 people not counted, a community loses an estimated $1.2 million annually in federal funds for programs such as Medicaid, social services block grants and vocational education.

An accurate census count is also important because our congressional representation is based on population. In the 2010 Census, a difference of just 1% population meant the gain or loss of a congressional seat.

An accurate census count contributes to economic development. Municipalities and private developers use the data when deciding where to build facilities that can bring jobs and retail opportunities to communities.

For More Information

If you have questions about the 2020 United States Census, you may call The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s Census Division at 1-833-MA1-2020.

Visit the official Census 2020 website (https://www.sec.state.ma.us/census2020/index.html ) or check out the Census Q&A here: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/census2020/us-census.html