2020 Census & COVID-19
At the start of every decade, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of the people living within the borders of the United States. The results are used to determine everything from the number of elected representatives to a community's grant application for broadband access.
More than 130 federal programs rely on data from the U.S. Census when determining spending at state and local levels. There are 55 federally funded programs at work in Arkansas. Many of these programs are integral to rural development. A 1% undercount of Arkansas in 2020 may result in nearly $1 billion in lost funds over a 10-year period, according to Arkansas Counts.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional means of census outreach, such as sending enumerators door-to-door and organizing Census Questionnaire Assistance Centers in communities, are no longer options.
So, how can you ensure your community counts in times of times of social distancing? Use e-mail, social media marketing and phone calls to remind community members to complete their census online at my2020census.gov or by calling 844-330-2020. These methods are easy and safe as they do not require any in-person interaction and should take no longer than 10 minutes to complete entirely without leaving home.
Participation in the Census is a vital investment in the long-term health and well-being of our communities, and provides foundational data used by experts to respond to public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensure that your community has the strong public health infrastructure necessary to respond and take action for years to come.
The Cooperative Extension Service provides the following information and resources for people interested in the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 Census.
Impact of COVID-19 on 2020 Census Operations
Learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting the 2020 Census by checking out our Impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 Frequently Asked Questions sheet.
Field Operations (Suspended Until April 15)
Based on continuing assessments of guidance from federal, state and local health authorities, the U.S. Census Bureau is suspending 2020 Census field operations until April 15, 2020. The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone who will go through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions.
Self-response (Extended from July 31 to August 14)
The public is encouraged to respond online, via phone or via mail from March 12-August 14.
Census Takers (Extended from May 28-August 14)
Census takers will interview households in person that have not responded online, by phone, or by mail starting in May until August 14.
Look for updates by visiting the U.S. Census Bureau's website.
2020 Census Social Distancing
Learn more ways to ensure your community counts in the 2020 Census during times of social distancing by checking out our blog post How to Get Out the Count in Times of Social Distancingfor helpful strategies to engage your community around 2020 Census efforts.
Do you know how to spot your census survey and identify imposters? Check out our resources so you will know what to expect from the 2020 census.