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WHAT IS THE CENSUS?
The U.S. Constitution requires that the federal government conduct a census or “actual enumeration” of every person living in the country every 10 years. The next decennial census is the 2020 Census. The official 2020 Census Day is April 1, 2020. The
U.S. Commerce Department’s Census Bureau is charged with carrying out each census but states, cities, and counties work closely with the Bureau to ensure an accurate count of the entire U.S. population.
How You’re Counted
|Did you know? In fiscal year 2015 Ohio received over $21 billion for the 16 largest federal assistance programs. That means in 2015 $1,814 was spent per person in Ohio based on data derived from the 2010 U.S. Census.
- George Washington University study
In March 2020 the Census Bureau and its local partners will begin counting group quarters—including but not limited to prisons, dormitories, and group homes—across the country. Next, the U.S. Census Bureau will send notifications to households nationwide to complete their short online questionnaire. The questionnaire should take approximately 10 minutes for each household to complete.
What’s the Process?
The Census Bureau will try several times to encourage households to complete the questionnaire online. Throughout the late spring and early summer of 2020, the Census Bureau will hire hundreds of people from your local community to serve as “census takers.” These individuals from your community will knock on the doors of households that have not completed the census questionnaire online. If you would like to avoid having a census taker knock on your door, do not forget to fill out the census questionnaire online.
Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to the U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential.
On December 31, 2020 the final 2020 Census results will be delivered to the President of the United States. By March 31, 2020 all 2020 Census results will be delivered to the states for use in their official House of Representatives redistricting process.
WHY IS THE CENSUS IMPORTANT?
The official census results are used to determine how many seats Ohio receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio will also use the 2020 Census results to draw the boundaries for House of Representatives and local legislative districts. If Cuyahoga County is undercounted, Ohio could receive fewer seats in the House of Representatives as a result. It is important for you to encourage your family and friends to complete the 2020 Census so your voice can be heard in Washington, D.C. and in the Ohio General Assembly.
The federal government uses census data to make funding decisions for federal programs that families rely on in Cuyahoga County. For example, if a Cleveland non-profit applies for a grant from the federal government it is required to use the latest census data. When households and families are not counted in the census, they could risk losing critical federal funding and support.
Every individual resident in Cuyahoga County is unique and relies on different federal, state, and local programs which use census data. Some people may not even realize that they are benefitting from programs funded by the federal government that use census data.
| Here is a list of key programs that Cuyahoga County residents rely on which use U.S. Census data:
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or “food stamps”
- Medicare Part B
- Special Education Grants
- National School Lunch Program
- Head Start/Early Head Start
- Foster Care
- Health Care Programs (Community, Migrant, Homeless, Public Housing)
U.S. Census data are used in decision-making at all levels of government. City and county planners use census data to plan for hospitals, nursing homes, and other clinics. Cuyahoga County and State of Ohio agencies rely on census data to build new roads and repair our infrastructure. Cleveland Metropolitan School District and other regional public school districts even use census information to draw school district boundaries.
Employers of all sizes need accurate U.S. Census data to plan for future job growth and make key business decisions. For example, large employers in Cuyahoga County use census data to understand the local labor supply and consumer needs and preferences. Learn 50 ways census data are used in your community!
2020 Light the Night for Census
For more information on the 2020 Census, visit https://www.census.gov/.
For employment opportunities for the 2020 Census, visit https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html.