What is the Census?
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). The count occurs every ten years and is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.
Census forms are filled out by household and ask for less personal information than most social media profiles. Everyone living at the address matters and everyone needs to be counted, including children. Participating in the census is required by law.
Please visit the Census 2020 website for the latest updates on how it is dealing with the coronavirus.
What's at Stake?
Especially in Lucas County
The census is vitally important, because it provides critical data that organizations use to provide daily services and support their communities. Likewise, it determines federal funding for things such as hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads and other resources. The census also determines the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Under-counting in the state of Ohio and in Lucas County can have dramatic consequences for federal funding formulas concerning Medicaid, SNAP, Highway Planning and Construction, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and Housing Assistance Payments Programs (project-based), the National School Lunch Program, Head Start and Early Head Start, as well as many other federally-supported program. For every person not counted in Ohio, it is estimated that the state will lose approximately $1,814 in federal funding per year, per person for ten years.
How to Take the Census
Each home will receive a mailed invitation to respond to a short questionnaire—online, by phone or by mail. This invitation will include an ID number, which you need in order to take the census.
You can take the census:
- By Phone – A phone number to respond will be included in the invitation letter sent via mail
- By Mail – Week of March 12, everyone will receive an invitation via mail (will include a unique code to go online, phone, etc.)
- Online - Using your computer, smart phone or tablet
March 12 - 20: Households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census.
March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness, including those in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.
April: Census takers will visit college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers and those who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
May - July: Census takers will visit homes that haven't yet responded to the census.
December: The Census Bureau will deliver counts to the President and Congress.