Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count (otherwise known as “Census”) of every person living within the United States to be used as a tool when determining how the federal government will allocate over $800 million dollars each year to each state. To accomplish this, the Bureau distributes surveys via mail for households to respond to either by mail, online, or over the phone. Responding to the Census is important, safe, and easy. By law, the Census Bureau is required to keep all responses confidential and cannot be shared with law enforcement, landlords, immigration, or anyone else.
Unfortunately, every year, we fall short of counting every person living in the state and this is especially the case for young children. Young children are the most undercounted population in the Census year after year. In fact, in 2010, the Census missed over 2.2 million 0-5 year olds. By undercounting young children, we fall significantly short of the number needed to calculate how much funding will go into the programs young children rely on such as child care, preschool, health insurance and more. Consequently, the Census only occurs every ten years, meaning that if we do not have a full count of our youngest citizens, we will fall short in funding their future for the next 10 years!
We all have the responsibility to respond to the Census, but we also have the responsibility of making sure those around us also respond to the Census. It may be difficult to recognize how this responsibility of encouraging others to respond falls on all of us, but a low response rate impacts our daily lives whether it be limited child care funding, underfunded schools, or the crumbling bridges we drive on every day. We hope you will respond to the Census and tell those around you to do the same as our future and our children’s future greatly relies upon a complete count. Time is running out to respond to the Census – fill out your Census in less than 10 minutes by visiting: www.2020Census.gov.
For more information on how to encourage families to participate in the Census, check out Groundwork Ohio's Census toolkit.