To reduce the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended several of their timelines by 2 to 3 weeks. This includes their final data collection deadline, which was moved from July 31 to August 14. With the new timelines, the earliest the Bureau would have people knocking on doors is May 13 (for college towns) and May 28 (for the rest of the population).
Importance of the Data
The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade. The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—who we are, where we live, and so much more.
The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts. 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.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years. The results are used to adjust or redraw electoral districts, based on where populations have increased or decreased. State legislatures or independent bipartisan commissions are responsible for redrawing congressional districts. The U.S. Census Bureau provides states with population counts for this purpose.
The results of the 2020 Census will inform decisions about allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to communities across the country—for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other critical programs and services.
The 2020 Census will be valuable to businesses, as the results will provide a rich set of data on the communities they serve, including population trends and growth projections.
Business owners rely on census results to make decisions, such as where to open new stores, restaurants, factories, or offices, where to expand operations, where to recruit employees, and which products and services to offer.