2020 United States Census: What you need to know

For the 24th-time in our nation’s great history, the United Sates is conducting their decennial census. This one is different than the previous 23 censuses, however, as Americans will for the first time have the option to respond online or via phone, in addition to the traditional paper form.
Census invitations will be distributed in the mail March 12-20. Per the U.S. Census’ publicly available information, 95% of households across the country will receive their invitation in the mail. Less than 1% of households are counted in-person by a census taker; this is typically done in remote Alaska and with American Indian communities that request such a practice.
April 1, known for being a day of hijinks, will double as Census Day in 2020. If you have not responded to your census invitation by March 26, you will receive a reminder postcard in the mail. If you still have not responded by April 20, the U.S. Census will send you another reminder postcard, before showing up at your household in-person.
Promoted by the Oxford Township Office’s “Kids Count, too” Coloring Contest, residents are also reminded everyone in your household counts when it comes to census data, even newborn babies still in the hospital as of April 1.
If a child’s time is split between more than one home, count them where they stay most often. If you need clarification on additional unique living arrangements, further information is available at 2020Census.gov.
Now, for the most important question of all: Why does the government need this information from me?
That’s a very good question. The U.S. Census provides communities with statistics to plan for a variety of needs such as roads, schools and emergency services, and helps businesses map out their futures.
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The census also determines how many representatives each state gets in the House of Representatives. C.J. Carnacchio, Oxford Township’s Communications and Grants Manager, pointed out an interesting statistic related to this.
According to Carnacchio, post-1970 census, Michigan had 19 representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, that number has dropped in each decade since. Michigan had 18 representatives following the 1980 census, 16 after 1990, 15 post-2000 and dropped to its current number, 14, in 2010.

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