The U.S. Census is a once-in-a-decade event. In fact, it is the federal government's largest operation outside of the military. Come spring 2020, we want to make sure that every household in Oak Park is prepared to participate in the Census.
What is the Census?
When building our country from the ground up, our Founder Fathers had a bold and ambitious plan to empower the people over their new government. The plan was to count every person living in the newly created United States of America, and to use that count to determine representation in Congress. Therefore, the U.S. Constitution empowers Congress to carry out the Census in "such manner as they shall by Law direct" (Article I, Section 2), in order to count Americans every ten years.
Enshrining this invention in our Constitution marked a turning point in world history. Previously, censuses had been used mainly to tax or confiscate property, or to conscript youth into military service. The genius of our Founding Fathers was taking a tool of government and making it a tool of political empowerment for the governed over their government.
Why a Census?
The Framers of the U.S. Constitution chose population to be the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land. A census aims to count the entire population of a country, and at the location where each person usually lives. The census asks questions of people in homes and group living situations, including how many people live or stay in each home, and the sex, age, and race of each person. The goal is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.
Today, the U.S. Census is still used primarily for population counts, but is also used to aid in the allocation of over $400 billion of federal funds, as well as gathering data and statistics that are useful to a wide array of public and private institutions.
The 2020 United States Census will be the twenty-fourth United States Census. National Census Day, the reference day used for the census, will be April 1, 2020. By that date, all households should have received an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You'll have three options for responding: online, by phone, or by mail. Please don’t delay filling out your survey. The quicker the U.S. Census Bureau gets the results back, the better.
And remember, all people living in the United States, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are required by law to be counted in the 2020 Census.
What Will I Be Asked?
The 2020 Census will ask the following questions:
- How many people are living or staying at your home on April 1, 2020.
- Whether the home is owned or rented.
- About the sex of each person in the household.
- About the age of each person in the household.
- About the race of each person in the household.
- About whether a person in the household is of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin.
- About the relationship of each person in the household to one central person.
The Census Bureau will never ask you for your Social Security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, your bank or credit card account numbers.
- January 2020: The Census Bureau begins counting the population in remote Alaska.
- April 1, 2020: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You'll then have three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.
- April 2020: Census takers begin following up with households around selected colleges and universities. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews.
- May 2020: The Census Bureau begins following up with households that have not responded.
- December 2020: The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the president.
U.S. Census Bureau Jobs
The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of thousands of positions across the country to assist with the 2020 Census count. Check out the link below to view open jobs with the U.S. Census Bureau:
U.S. Census Bureau Jobs
U.S. Census Bureau Website
2020 U.S. Census Website