From March 12-20, invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will be delivered across America. Once you have the invitation, you can respond online, by phone or by mail.
The U.S. government has conducted a census every ten years since 1790, and it is mandatory to respond, as laid out in Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. It reads, “[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.” Congress first met in 1789 and within a year, the U.S. Census tradition had begun.
For the census, you need to count everyone who will be living under your roof (permanently or semi-permanently) as of April 1, 2020. Make sure to include young children, newborns or anyone who may be renting a room at your residence, as they are often not counted during the census!
Since the last census in 2010, Collierville has increased by about 5,000 people and since 2000, the Town has nearly doubled in population. That means that the census is especially important for Collierville, in order to accurately update the Town’s position as a growing and impactful Memphis-area suburb!
Here’s how responding to the census can help both Collierville and Tennessee:
- The results of the census are used to reapportion the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, which are based on overall state population. Tennessee currently has 9 seats, and the last time we gained one was in 1980!
- It helps determine how much federal funding states, cities and towns can receive! There’s approximately $675 billion available in federal funding, grants and support. This funding can really help schools, hospitals, infrastructure, and a variety of other programs. Collierville’s significant growth in the last ten years could be an indicator that federal funding would be well-spent here.
- After each census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the legislative districts to account for any population shifts or increases.
If you want to see a preview of the census form, you can click here! This interactive, online 2020 Census replica will give you tips for filling out the census and explain what any of the more confusing questions are really asking. This is a great resource if it is your first time filling out the census!
You should also be sure that you are responding to the correct census paperwork, as sometimes scams do occur around census time. The 2020 Census will never ask for your Social Security number, your bank account or credit card numbers, or donations, and are never affiliated with a political party. If someone visits your home to collect census results, make sure they have a photo ID badge, with the Department of Commerce watermark and a valid expiration date.
To learn more about the 2020 Census, you can either watch this video here, or visit the 2020 Census website here.