WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – April 1 marks Census Day – the day the United States Census Bureau wants to make sure you count. And despite the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic, the bureau wants to continue the count.
“This census is different from previous censuses,” U.S. Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham said Wednesday.
Dillingham said, like the rest of us, the Census Bureau is making changes because of the coronavirus.
“We have already adjusted our schedule and we’re continuing to focus on self-reporting in the months of April and May,” he said.
April 1 is officially “Census Day,” and the Census Bureau is asking us to respond to the census while practicing “social distancing.” That means filling out the census forms online, by phone and by mail.
You can go to 2020census.gov to fill your questionnaire. It could take less than 10 minutes and can be done while staying at home.
“Maybe the fact that more people are spending time at home, they will fill out these forms so we can get them in, so we make sure we have an accurate census,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) said.
The Republican Florida Senator stressed the importance of the count not only for the Sunshine State, but the entire country.
The census determines your state’s congressional representation and affects the amount of federal funding that will reach you and your neighbors.
Congressman Joe Cunningham (D-SC-1) said the pandemic helps highlight the importance of the U.S. Census.
“How we split up our federal resources by states, by municipalities. All that stuff goes back to the census,” Cunningham said Wednesday.
Despite the outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau insists it is on track to finish the count by December.
The bureau calls April 1 its reference date. They ask people where they are living on April 1, but you can still fill out the questionnaire after that date.