Since the first census in 1790, the United States has conducted a population census every 10 years as required by the US Constitution. There are many purposes for the census including dividing US House of Representative seats among the states and allocating resources (federal funding!). Ensuring a complete count of each individual in every household is critical – the census includes every citizen, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long-term visitors and undocumented immigrants.
To ensure Harris County residents understand the purpose of the census, why it is so important, who should complete the census and how, and what happens to the data collected, Volunteer Houston is collaborating with Houston in Action (HiA)to educate and inform the community about the upcoming census. Read below for more information – even better, help us spread the word by volunteering with us in our community outreach.
WHO should complete the census?
You! Your neighbors, your friends. Anyone with a heartbeat residing in the US whether they are citizens, non-citizens, refugees, immigrants, infants, grandparents is counted!
WHEN does the census start?
In March, the US Census Bureau will mail an invitation to complete the census to every household in the US. Households have until the end of July to submit responses.
WHY should you complete the census?
Population count impacts federal funds provided for critical programs including fire departments, police departments, Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP and local nonprofits such as IM’s Meals on Wheels. Texans will lose up to $300M in funding if just 1% of residents are not counted in the 2020 Census.
HOW do you complete the census?
With technology constantly improving, the census can be completed online or by phone in 12 languages or on paper – English and Spanish only. Census takers are also available to assist those who need help.