How the 2020 U.S. Census is Adapting During COVID-19
Tuesday, June 16, 2020
The U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years in efforts to count the entire population of the United States. The Census asks American households questions such as sex, age, and race of each person in the household. These demographics help determine congressional representation and how much funding each state, county, and community received of the $675 billion per year in federal funding. These funds are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other essential programs.
The data gathered from the Census is also very helpful for businesses and developers in Sisseton and surrounding communities. Businesses can use Census data to decide the best place for them to locate. Business owners are able to more easily pinpoint the very best area for their business to be as successful as possible. Developers can use this data to help revitalize areas of the country.
Usually the Census date is collected via in-person house calls by Census workers. However, since the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 virus, the U.S. Census Bureau has had to adapt practices and stop all door-to-door transactions. The Census Bureau has also halted all in-person activities for their staff which includes all office work and processing activities. They have increased their call center capacity with employees working from home to gather the Census data.
Due to these changes, the 2020 Census information will be gathered through alternate means. People can fill out their Census information online, via phone, or by mail self-responses throughout the collection process.
The collection process was originally scheduled from March 12, 2020 to July 31, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the deadline to October 31, 2020. In-person house calls are postponed until July 1, 2020. The Census data is now rescheduled to be completed and delivered to the President of the United States by April 30, 2021.
Most invitations to respond to the 2020 Census were sent out between March 12-20, 2020. Each household is also given a Census ID that will need to be input when completing the online Census. For households who want to fill out the Census online visit my2020Census.gov to complete your Census information. Households can also mail in their responses or call 844-330-2020 to complete the Census via phone.
The U.S. Census Bureau is doing its best to ensure that the Census continues while also protecting the health of its employees and fellow Americans. The Bureau is dedicated to gathering the most accurate information from each household to ensure that communities are receiving the funding they deserve. The Bureau urges people to continue to participate in the Census via online, phone, or mail-in responses. Check 2020Census.gov for updates on the Covid-19 crisis and updates on the 2020 Census.
We here at GROW South Dakota hope our residents are staying safe during this time. We encourage you to participate in the 2020 U.S. Census if you have not already done so. Please continue to check back for more information regarding the Covid-19 crisis and how this will continue to affect the 2020 U.S. Census. Keep an eye on our website at www.growsd.org for updates.