Can you believe it has been 10 years already? Starting in January, the 2020 Census kicks off its advertising campaign highlighted by the implementation of new technology that will make it easier than ever to respond.
For the first time, residents will be able to respond online, by phone and through the mail. Data the public has already provided will help reduce follow-up visits, while confidentiality and safety of the information gathered remains the highest priority.
Residents can begin responding to the 2020 Census in March, and come June and July census takers will go door to door to count those who have not responded.
The importance of responding to the census cannot be understated. The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities (yes that means Novi) is based on census data. Locally, that money is spent on schools, roads, public works projects, public safety and other vital programs. The results of the census are also used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets, while state officials use the numbers to redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shift.
As we gear up for the 2020 Census, here are some quick tidbits that will help answer some frequently asked questions and make the process of responding even easier:
• The public can begin responding to the census online in March at 2020census.gov.
• The census counts every person living in the United States, once.
• Completing the census is mandatory and only takes 10 minutes.
• The census counts everyone where they live and sleep MOST of the time. Yes, that means you “snowbirds.” If you call Novi home 51% of the time, then Novi is what you should list as your place of residence. Even if you are completing the census while away for the winter, if you reside in Novi at least 184 days this year (it’s a leap year), remember to list Novi as your home.
• The same goes for children. Where a child lives and sleeps MOST of the time is where they should be counted.
• Your responses to the census are safe, secure and protected by federal law. Your answers can ONLY be used to produce statistics – they CANNOT be used against you in any way.
• The Census Bureau WILL NEVER ask for your Social Security number, bank or credit card information, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. • An online form and telephone line will be available in 13 languages for non-English speakers to self-respond to the census.