The national census happens every 10 years and aims to count the entire population of the country at the location where each person usually lives. By responding to the census, you help your community get its fair share of the more than $800 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and many other vital programs. It is estimated that everyone who is counted represents $1,500 in additional government funding.
Between March 12 and 20, postcards will be mailed to every resident alerting them to take the census. Everyone will be encouraged to complete their information online first, utilizing a unique code. For groups like Community Tech Network, which work closely with people who lack the confidence and skills to use the internet independently, we anticipate that frontline staff will be inundated with requests for help, or some community members won’t bother to fill out the census form.
Anticipating this need, a nonprofit called Generations on Line has created a free website, www.EasyCensusHelp.org, with an interactive tutorial to help folks gain confidence in filling out the 2020 census form online. It reviews all the census questions and goes over each of the online skills needed to complete the census forms. No data is collected, and it’s a safe place for folks to practice BEFORE going to the census site to enter their information.
We also want frontline staff to understand the risks of scams. The U.S. Census Bureau has put this page together to help.