Keep Your Senses During the Census

by Hannah on 2020-03-20 12:00:00

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The 2020 Census counts the population in the United States and five U.S. territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands). Each home will receive an invitation to respond to a short questionnaire - online, by phone, or by mail - between March 12-20. Simply go to the website, select your language, enter your code, and you're all set. A brief, informal survey of library staff indicated that the Census questionnaire took us about five minutes to complete. Super easy! 

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, librarians, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, libraries, and other resources based on census data. Santa Monica librarian Cecilia does a great job of summarizing why the Census is important to libraries in this video, if you're interested! The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

What does the Census ask? You can explore the form before you start! They also have video guides, in English and in Spanish

The Census asks for a lot of information, which might seem appealing to scammers, but don't worry! During the 2020 Census, 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
  • Your citizenship status

If someone claiming to be from the Census Bureau contacts you via email or phone and asks you for one of these things, it's a scam, and you should not cooperate. For more information, visit their Avoiding Fraud and Scams page. Your personal information is kept confidential. The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information, and your data is used only for statistical purposes. Your responses are compiled with information from other homes to produce statistics, which never identify your home or any person in your home. Learn more about how the Census protects your information.

Ready to get started? Click here! 

Still have questions? The 2020 Census website has answers!

Our building may be closed right now, but you can use your own device to access our wi-fi from our parking lot, or Patrons Park on the corner of Walnut Street and 7th Avenue. Librarians are available by telephone at 262-335-5151 or by email at libref@westbendlibrary.org from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday if you have any questions. Thanks for continuing to support your local library - it means the world to us!