By Kevin Edwards
BC Staff Writer
The time to complete the United States Census has arrived.
Mandated by the United States Constitution, the census is taken every 10 years to get an accurate population count of the country for the purposes of representation in both the United States House of Representatives and each of the 50 states.
The census also serves the purpose of determining how to allocate billions of dollars in federal funding that goes toward programs such as road construction and public assistance.
The U.S. Census Bureau is strongly encouraging all citizens to complete the census online due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Responses can also be delivered by phone or mail.
Include everyone who usually lives and sleeps in your home as of April 1. This includes relatives, friends, roommates and anyone who lives in your home most of the time.
Babies born on or before April 1 should be counted, even if they are still in the hospital. Babies born after April 1 should not be counted.
College students who stay on campus will be counted by their respective school. This stays true even if they are now home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Students who are living at home should be counted at their home address. Students living on their own should count themselves with any roommates.
All other information about who to count can be found in great detail on 2020census.gov
The U.S. Census Bureau has made several adjustments to its schedule due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The self-response phase has been extended to Aug. 14.
Early follow-up requests have been delayed until May 7.
Non-response follow-ups have been delayed until May 28.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, the Census Bureau may call you to follow up on your completion of the census.
You can easily identify these two numbers as being from the Jeffersonville, IN office at 812-281-3144 or the Tucson, AZ office at 520-798-4152.
You can call either office, or the customer service center at 1-800-923-8282 to independently verify the calls.
Mail and surveys will be addressed from either the U.S. Census Bureau or the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Census Bureau’s parent agency.
Your name and information are protected during the information gathering process and no information will be shared outside of the census gathering process.
Census takers will not ask for any information regarding your Social Security number or bank account information. They will not ask for any payment or financial donation whatsoever.
Bolivar County leadership has heavily emphasized the need for residents to do their part and complete the census to ensure the county receives its fair share of the monetary opportunities.
By law, the data must be turned in to President Trump on Dec. 31, making it imperative that all citizens due their part even in this time of disruption.