Have you filled out the 2020 Census? As of August 7, 2020, 66.55 percent of Colorado households have done so. While that number is better than the national rate, which is 63 percent, it’s still below the national final mail-in rate of the 2010 Census, which was 74 percent, as well as the 2010 Colorado self-response rate. On the plus side, did you know that two Colorado cities were in the top 10 of response rates a decade ago, with Centennial at 83 percent and Arvada at 82 percent! Way to go CO!
You may be thinking, why should I fill this out? What is this headcount all about? For starters, the Census is mandated in our constitution. Article 1, Section 2, and Title 13 of the United States Code mandates the count of all persons living in the US, including all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens, and noncitizens, every 10 years. Fortunately, the same law also requires that your answers be kept confidential.
Most importantly, if your household does not respond, your community may get shortchanged. The population numbers reported in the Census help direct hundreds of billions of dollars in government funds to local communities for schools, roads, hospitals, and other public services, including nonprofits. The information is also used to determine the number of seats each state has in Congress and also to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
The message to fill out your Census questionnaire either by mail, phone, or online is more urgent now more than ever. The US Census Bureau recently announced that the deadline to respond has been moved up to September 30 – a month earlier than previously set.
If your household has already filled out the Census, please check with family members, friends or neighbors to make sure they fill it out too. If you are a caregiver, it is especially important to make sure to check with those you are caring for to see if they need a reminder or assistance.
Because it’s vital to get as complete a headcount as possible, census takers will be sent out to knock on doors of households that have not responded starting August 11. They will continue to hit every door that has not responded until September 30. This task is daunting given the condensed timeline and the number of households that still have not responded.
The good news is that there is still time to respond, and the Census is easier to fill out than ever this year. For the first time, you have the ability to respond online, in addition to telephone (844-330-2020) and mail. Plus, it’s very quick to fill out! Most people can complete the census questions about 5 minutes.
Can we count on you?