It’s Census Day!

The 2020 Census is underway, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted the following operational dates. Here are a few quick facts about the changes:

  • The census self-response deadline has been extended until August 14, 2020.
  • Field operations have been delayed an additional two weeks until April 15.
  • The Census Bureau is still on track to deliver the Census on time to the President on December 31.

For the full list of operational changes to the 2020 Census, please view the U.S. Census Bureau: 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19 fact sheet.

So how is Texas doing?

As of today, only 29.7% of households in Texas have responded to the 2020 Census by phone, mail, or online. The census data is critical to our basis of democracy and is used to make informed decisions that affect our everyday lives. Census data is used to ensure that all our Texas communities are treated fairly and that funds are appropriately allocated according to population needs. In times like these, census data is even more essential because our public health experts, government officials, and first responders rely on population data to make critical decisions.

Find out how your communities are responding to the 2020 Census

You can stay up to date with a map of self-response rates across the U.S. and Texas by using the links below:

  • U.S. Census Bureau Self-Response by State. This map allows users to view the self-response rate from households that responded to the 2020 Census online, by mail, or by phone, and compare the state’s average to the national self-response average.
  • City University of New York (CUNY) Center for Urban Research. Use this map to follow that state’s census progress and compare the progress with the census from 2000 and 2010. The map provides the feature to search the self-response rates by address, ZIP Code, landmark, county, state, or legislative district.

Make it Count!

There is still time to complete the 2020 Census!

If you have any questions related to the 2020 Census, contact Laura Tadena, Inclusive Services Consultant.

Check your mail, Texas! The 2020 Census is waiting for you.

Your 2020 Census invitation is in the mail, Texas! This week, official invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will be sent out to households. Here are a few things to help you prepare for the 2020 Census:

TSLAC has a Census 2020 webpage. Visit the TSLAC Census 2020 webpage to find up to date information, resources, and valuable tools about the 2020 Census.

What is the Census? The Census is a snapshot of who is residing in the nation. It is a short questionnaire (view sample 2020 Census questionnaire) that asks basic information about your household and the people who live in it. The Census is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every ten years. 

Who is counted? Everyone! The 2020 Census will count everyone living in the United States and five U.S. Territories, regardless of citizenship. 

How do I respond to the Census? There are three ways to participate in the 2020 Census. 

  • Respond Online. For the first time, you will be able to complete your Census online. Each household will receive a letter (view sample 2020 Census letter) with a unique Census ID and web address that they will use to respond to the questionnaire. You can complete the online questionnaire in the following languages: English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, and Japanese.
  • Respond by Phone. You have the option of completing the questionnaire by phone. Phone support is offered in English and 12 non-English languages (view 2020 Census Non-English Language Support).  To begin, call 844-330-2020.
  • Respond by Mail. You can respond to the Census using a paper questionnaire sent to your home. You will be asked to fill out the questionnaire using blue or black ink and are encouraged not to use a pencil. Mail it back in the postage-paid return envelope. If you have trouble answering a question, call 1-888-262-5935 or email nscg@census.gov.

When do I respond to the Census? In Texas, the 2020 Census kicks off March 12, 2020. Here are some important dates regarding the 2020 Census: 

  • March 12-April 30: Self-Response Operation. The Census Bureau will kick off their Self-Response Operation beginning with a printed invitation mailed to every household encouraging individuals to complete the 2020 Census online or by phone. Every week after that print reminders will be sent to household that have not responded. The final reminder mailer going out on the fifth week, April 20-27.
  • May 13- July 31: Non-Response Follow-Up. Census enumerators will begin following up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. If no one answers when the enumerator visits, they will leave a “Notice of Visit” that includes an online response code to encourage households to self-respond. Enumerators will attempt a total of six visits during the Non-Response Follow-Up Operation.
  • July 31: Last day to respond to 2020 Census. This is the last day for households to self-respond. Individuals can respond on July 31, 2020 online, by phone or by mail.

Why is it important? Census Data is important to our democracy! This data will determine the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and how district lines are drawn at all levels of government. The data will also guide the allocation of more than $800 billion dollars in federal funding going to programs that are essential to building prosperous communities. Including these top Federal Programs:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Nutritional Assistance (SNAP)
  • Medicare
  • Highway Planning and Construction
  • Section 8 Housing
  • Title 1 Grants to Local Education Agencies
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Special Education Grants
  • State Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP)
  • Head Start / Early Head Start

When our communities are inaccurately counted, our communities are underfunded and underserved. We only get one chance every ten years to achieve a full count, so let’s work together to ensure an accurate count of Texas!

For more information about the 2020 Census, visit www.2020census.gov or the TSLAC Census 2020 webpage. For questions about information on this post, email Laura Tadena, Inclusive Services Consultant.

#CountOnLibraries US Census 2020, a partnership with the American Library Association.
Share your library’s Census story with us! Follow @TSLAC on social media and share your story by using the hashtag #CountOnLibraries and #2020Census.