Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. The next count officially kicks off on April 1, 2020.

It is simple and confidential to complete. For the first time, you can respond online. You will receive a unique identifying number in the mail which will allow you to fill out the online form beginning in March, 2020.

Here are some things you should know:

The Census is important. The Census is important because it helps to decide how much federal money our city, county and state will get over the next ten years, for things like parks, neighborhood improvements, public health, transportation, and many other programs and services.

For every person missed, we lose $10,000 in federal funding ($1,000 per person, per year for ten years). Businesses use Census data to decide where to build offices, stores and factories – and these create jobs.

It also makes sure we have fair political representation determining the number of seats in the House of Representatives as well as political boundaries. Make sure your voice is heard.

Your identity remains anonymous. Any personal information you provide on the Census form is protected by law and cannot be shared with anyone or any other federal agency. Regardless of your immigration status, the information cannot be used against you or to invade the privacy of you or any members of your family.

The Census is safe. All the data collected through the Census is protected under Title 13 of the U.S. Code. Records are confidential for 72 years by law. All U.S. Census Bureau employees swear a lifetime oath to protect respondent information.

The U.S. Census will never share a respondent’s personal information with other government agencies. Data is only released in summary tables; no individual records are released. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is up to 5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000.

What do you need to do? Complete the short and easy form online. If you don’t have a computer at home, you can use one at a library or at a Census Questionnaire Assistance Center in your community.

For more information visit, 2020Census.gov. You and your family count, so make sure to fill out the Census form this spring.

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