The goal of “counting everyone once, only once, and in the right place” is now underway through 2020 Census outreach and promotion efforts.
Jim Accurso, partnership specialist with the U.S. Census Bureau, highlighted the importance of public awareness and engagement as he presented details of the 2020 Census to Pine County board members and other local government officials at the Pine County Courthouse on Tuesday, February 26.
The 2020 Census, required every ten years by Constitutional mandate, will take place in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the Island areas, and will include people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, citizens and noncitizens. The reference date for everyone to be counted as part of the 2020 Census is Census Day, April 1, 2020.
Easier participation this census
It will now be easier for people to respond to the census through use of the new online self-response option, which is the most cost-effective way to get responses.
Households will also be able to respond by telephone. Those that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with their invitation. The invitation will also include information about how to respond online or by phone. Door-knocking by census takers will begin in late April, 2020, and only involve those households who have not responded online or by phone and after receiving reminder cards in the mail.
Accurso noted some of the challenges the upcoming census is prepared to meet: a constrained fiscal environment; the rapidly changing use of technology and current information explosion; an ever-increasing mobile population; distrust in government; the trend towards declining response rates in surveys of all kinds; informal and complex living arrangements; and an increasingly diverse population. To help meet these challenges, the 2020 Census has a flexible new design that takes advantage of new technologies and data sources to ensure a high-quality population count.
Previous Census Bureau surveys have indicated that the following demographics can be difficult to count: veterans, people with disabilities, farm workers, the homeless, renters, college students, immigrants, minorities, snowbirds, senior citizens, the language constrained, children under five years old, and people living in poverty. Accurso suggested that to help overcome this, local governments establish relationships with educational institutions, faith-based communities, the media and other community-based organizations, as in the past they have led to higher decennial census participation rates.
Accurso noted that in the 2010 Census, Minnesota had a 81 percent mail-back participation rate which was second in the country. By comparison, Pine County’s was 64 percent, which was an 8 percent increase from the 2000 Census.
Information collected will be released for redistricting by April 1, 2021.
The Census is hiring
Employment is available for this census in a number of well-paying office and field positions. Many offer flexible hours and the ability to work-from-home. More information can be found by calling 1-855-JOB-2020 or visiting: 2020census.gov/jobs or www.census.gov/fieldjobs.