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By Tim Leeds 

One month left till 2020 Census begins


February 13, 2020

The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it is just more than one month away from the start of the 2020 Census.

The announcement notes that accurate reports for the Census are crucial for states and local governments, with the information collected impacting issues including getting money for new roads, building new schools, funding new health care facilities, attracting new businesses to the community, determining the state’s representation in Congress and much more.

This census could easily impact Montana’s representation in Congress, with the state right on the line for once again picking up a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Montana lost its second seat after the 1990 Census, with the number of seats in the House determined by the percentage of the nation’s population in each state. Experts say the 2020 Census could shift one of the 435 seats back to Montana.

This year, the Census Bureau is using self-response as part of the data collection, allowing people to enter their information rather than waiting for a data collector to knock on their door.

Self-response for the Census starts online March 12.

Official census day is April 1.

The Census is working with local and state leaders to promote efforts in local communities.

The national census is mandated by the Constitution and has been done every 10 years since 1790.

And, the Census Bureau announced it is still hiring. People can visit http://2020census.gov/jobs for more information.

The bureau announced that most households will receive an invitation to respond to the Census starting this week, saying 95 percent of households across the nation will receive an invitation letter in the mail.  The other 5 percent include households counted through different operations, for example those that receive mail from a P.O. box, are in an area of low internet connectivity or are considered group quarters — like dorms or nursing homes

The letter will include an ID number that is tied to the recipient’s physical address. People are then encouraged to go online with the ID number to respond to the Census. They can also respond over the phone or wait for a paper form to arrive in few weeks.

The ID number is not required to respond to the Census in traditional responses.

After a series of reminder mailings, if the household has not self-responded to the Census, the bureau will begin sending enumerators — census takers — door-to-door to collect responses. 

  People can visit http://www.2020census.gov for more information including:

• How to know where to be counted

• Language support

• Safety and avoiding scams — the census will never ask for someone’s Social Security number or money or bank account information. If people receive a contact that seems suspicious, they should report it.


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