2020 U.S. Census Update & How to Take It
Monday, May 11, 2020
Gallup and McKinley County residents - the U.S. Census is still being conducted during COVID-19. Here is the latest update:
The collection process for the 2020 U.S. Census was originally scheduled from March 12, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, the U.S. Census Bureau has extended the deadline to October 31, 2020.
This is a positive development but we still need everyone to take the Census right away to ensure that every person in our county is accounted for. The data obtained during the Census will impact the amount of federal funding each city, county and our state receives over the next decade. Billions of dollars are allocated annually based on this information, so share this article on social media and reach out to everyone you know to participate.
An Accurate Count is Critical for Economic Development
The U.S. Census is conducted in the United States every 10 years. The Census aims to count the entire population of the United States. The Census asks American households certain questions such as sex, age, and race of each person in the household. These demographics help determine congressional representation and how much funding each state, county, and community received of the $675 billion per year in federal funding. These funds are spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other essential programs.
The Census is important for our community's economic development efforts because the data influences the amount of federal funding coming our way for the infrastructure projects businesses need to operate here. For example, the amount of funding communities receive for road projects is influenced by Census data. In addition, the data impacts the amount of funding received for schools and hospitals - all things a community needs to be economically healthy and sustainable.
Census Data is Also Used by Businesses
We are actively working to recruit new businesses to our region. During conversations with site selectors and business executives, demographic data is regularly brought up as a way to evaluate workforce capacity and the potential for a customer base. This data is gathered from the U.S. Census. Businesses can use Census data to decide the best place for them to locate their business. This data allows business owners and developers to pinpoint the very best area for their business to be as successful as possible. As such, it is critical that everyone in our state participates. Otherwise, the numbers won’t be accurate and the data will not reflect the true opportunities available here.
Ways to Complete the Census During COVID-19
The Census data is usually collected via in-person house calls by people collecting the Census data. However, since the outbreak and spread of the Covid-19 virus, the U.S. Census Bureau has had to stop all door-to-door transactions. The Census Bureau has also halted all in-person activities for their staff. This includes all office work and processing activities. They have increased their call center capacity with employees working from home to gather the Census data.
So, what does this mean for the 2020 U.S. Census? It means that McKinley County residents will have to use other means of sharing their household data. People can fill out their Census information online, via phone, or by mail self-responses throughout the collection process.
Most households received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20, 2020. Each household is also given a Census ID that will need to be input when completing the online Census. Households who wish to fill out the Census online should visit my2020Census.gov. Households can also mail in their responses or call 844-330-2020 to complete the Census via phone.