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Census 2020 Up And Running Despite Coronavirus Outbreak; Residents Can Respond Online, By Phone

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Every 10 years since 1930, the country has observed April 1 as Census Day.

That means the census is supposed to count every person and where they live in the country on that specific day — even if responses are provided later than April 1.

In 2020, this fact is largely overshadowed by the historic and deadly pandemic. But the coronavirus outbreak has not halted census operations. Some field operations are temporarily on hold, but Americans can still respond to the census questionnaire.

A Census Bureau official stated in a March 11 news release: “The key message right now for anyone with questions about how COVID-19 will affect the 2020 Census: It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail — all without having to meet a census taker.”

The reasons for the census and what the results mean for communities like Hopkinsville are important. 

The census count determines the amount of federal funding distributed to cities and states for a range of programs, and the number of congressional representatives is based on population. 

An undercount of people in a region can be costly. Across the country, many state officials estimate the lost revenue is as much as $1,000 per person not counted annually until the next census in 2030.

Invitations to respond to the census were mailed to every American household between March 12 and 20. 

The bureau is encouraging everyone to respond on the internet. For most people, the online questionnaire will take about 10 minutes to complete. 

The Census Bureau also takes responses over the phone. The number for English speakers is 844-330-2020. The number for Spanish speakers is 844-468-2020. 

Information about responding by mail is available here.

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