April 1 is Census Day!

April 1, 2020

Invitations to participate in the 2020 Census have been sent and Virginians are strongly encouraged to respond online.  Participation may also be done via telephone.  (Paper forms will be sent to households that do not respond to the first invitation.)  Responding on the Census website is user-friendly and takes only a few minutes.  Below are some resources that counties may find helpful in encouraging residents to participate.

Responding to the Census
Most households received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census earlier in March.  These mailings include a Census ID code that can be used to respond online.  Information from the Census Bureau about how to respond and who should be counted, including information in languages other than English, can be found at https://2020census.gov/en/ways-to-respond.html.  Information on what residents should look for in the mail is at this link:  https://2020census.gov/en/mailings.html.  The link for responding to the Census is https://2020census.gov/.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau announced on March 28 that it would be suspending field operations until April 15 in order to protect its staff and the public.  Adjustments to the field operations timeline (including delays in Census questionnaires being brought to non-responding households and Census Bureau staff providing assistance with Census response in public spaces such as libraries and community centers) may be found at https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/operational-adjustments-covid-19.html.

Measuring our progress
The Census Bureau’s Response Rates Map tool allows you to see response rates on a statewide basis, as well as by locality and by Census tract, and compares current response rates with rates for the 2010 Census.  These statistics are updated daily.  You can use this tool to see how your locality’s response rate stacks up against those of your neighbors, and see whether certain areas within your county need additional outreach.  The map can be found at https://2020census.gov/en/response-rates.html?utm_campaign=20200323msc20s1ccallrs&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery.

Educational resources
With schoolchildren at home, completing the Census can be a learning opportunity.  The Census Bureau’s “Statistics in Schools” materials provide some suggested activities for students of all ages and may be found at https://census.gov/schools.

VACo Contact: Katie Boyle

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