What is the Census?
The U.S. Census counts each and every resident in the nation, including right here in Arlington County. The collected data helps to determine things like the number of seats Virginia has in the House of Representatives, and how to distribute federal funds to local communities like ours. The Census is closer than you think. Here’s a refresher of what it is and why it’s essential that everyone in Arlington be counted.
Why Does the Census Matter?
It’s About $675 Billion
The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to communities like Arlington is based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. Learn more how Arlington’s federal funding is directly tied to the Census.
It’s About Fair Representation
Every 10 Years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state including Virginia gets.
It’s About Redistricting
After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.
It’s in the Constitution
The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
It’s About Taking Part is Your Civic Duty
Completing the census is a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT.”
What You Need to Know About the Census This Time Around?
This is the First Time it’s Being Offered Online
The Census has traditionally been a paper form sent to your house. In Spring of 2020, households can expect an invitation from the U.S. Census Bureau to either fill out the form online, over the phone, or by requesting a paper form. Check out more information on how to respond.
Your Responses are Safe and Secure
It is important that every person in the United States is counted regardless of status. Responses to the 2020 Census protected by federal law (Title 13 of the U.S. Code). All Census Bureau staff take a lifetime oath to protect your personal information. Violations result in a penalty of up to $250,000 and/or 5 years in prison. Learn more about what will be asked and Census 2020 confidentiality.
April 1, 2020 is Census Day. What Does That Mean?
It is imperative that everyone be counted at the right place, at the right time, and only once. 2020 being an election year adds some confusion to the process. Where people vote is determined by their permanent address, but where people get Counted is dependent on where they are physically present on Census Day, April 1, 2020. This can be confusing for traditionally under counted individuals such as renters, students living in dorms, or children living between two homes. Learn more about people with specific circumstances and how to make sure they’re appropriately counted.