This is an advocacy blog. Beware; beliefs and opinions follow.
Every ten years the United States and many other countries in the world conduct a census of their resident population. For some decades, it has been the tradition to ask all residents to report their whereabouts on April 1 of the year of the census.
In these times of “stay at home,” “shelter in place,” “self-isolation,” and other similar expressions, the definition of discretionary time has changed. Prior to COVID-19, many residents commute to their work between 20-60 minutes a day. That time is now not spent in an automobile, but at home.
There are increasing media reports of Americans being bored with their new routine. What a boredom relief! Fill out the Census.
Seven myths about the 2020 Census:
It doesn’t really matter whether I respond.
Over $1.5 trillion dollars in 2017 Federal funding for 316 programs were allocated using Census data. Undercounting groups hurts the groups.
It takes too much time to complete.
There are only 10 questions per person; it takes just a few minutes.
Only US citizens should complete the census.
This has never been true. Ever since 1790, all residents have been enumerated. There is no question on the Census about one’s citizenship status.
My answers are shared with all government agencies.
By Federal law, no Census employee can reveal the identity or data form the Census. Violations risk a 5-year imprisonment and a large cash fine. This law applies also to the citizen counts that the Census Bureau is obtaining from administrative records. Once data enter the Census Bureau, they cannot be used for any actions on an individual.
It’s a vast waste of money by incompetent bureaucrats.
The 2020 Census would indeed be cheap, if every household responded. Most of the money spent after April 1 is following up for those who didn’t take the time to respond. This involves hiring about 500,000 enumerators, visiting each nonrespondent household. This is not a pretty option, given the COVID-19 pandemic. Fill out the Census now; no one will visit your household and you’ll save taxpayer money at the same time.
The Census is a voluntary survey.
The founding fathers were serious about the Census as a means to induce orderly reallocation of political power in the House. The 1790 Census had a $20 fine if one deliberately didn’t respond, over $500 in today’s dollars. It’s still mandatory by Federal law, with hefty fines for providing false information or refusing to respond.
I’ve lost the online identification number; I can’t respond.
You don’t need an ID to respond online; click here; you can also report via a phone interview – call 844-330-2020.
Completing the 2020 Census takes mere minutes. Before the next Netflix binge, fill out the Census. Before your review your Twitter feed, fill out the Census. Less that 10 minutes, once every ten years. Save taxpayer money; avoid an enumerator coming to your house.