Important Information Regarding You and the 2020 Census
April 17, 2020
April 17, 2020
U.S. Census 2020
The census can be confusing: Do my parents count me, or do I count myself? Why do we even have to fill it out? Don’t worry; we can answer all of those questions.
Do my parents count me, or do I count myself?
No, your parents should not count you unless you normally live with them during the academic year. College students who normally live on campus should be counted at and by the school, even if they are temporarily living somewhere else (e.g., with their parents) because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are two primary groups of students:
- If you are normally living in on-campus halls, you will be counted by Southwestern housing administrators. Therefore, you should not fill out your census by mail or online, and your parents should not count you as part of their residence when they fill out their print or online forms.
- If you are normally living in off-campus apartments, where you have your own mailboxes, you should fill out your own census form by mail or online and count yourself at that address. If you do not have access to your mail at this time, you do not need to wait for your census ID, which is usually included in the letter and/or questionnaire sent by the U.S. Census Bureau. Instead, you may visit my2020census.gov, select “If you do not have a Census ID, click here,” and provide your off-campus housing address to complete the census.
Why is it important to complete the census?
It’s mandated by the Constitution, and it contributes to fair governmental representation, distribution of federal funds, and congressional and state legislative redistricting.
- It’s mandated by the U.S. Constitution: The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country conduct a count of its population every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
- Fair representation: The results of the census are used to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state will be allotted for the next 10 years.
- Distribution of funds: The distribution of more than $675 billion per year in federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities is based on the census data. That money helps support schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other crucial projects and programs.
- Redistricting: After each decade’s census, state officials or independent bipartisan councils redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.
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