Today is Census Day, the day that determines who is counted in the 2020 Census and where they are counted.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Responding to the 2020 Census is easy, safe and important, and is key to shaping the future of communities.
Northwest Arkansas is one of the fastest growing regions in the country and will need an accurate count of all residents to sustain and support this growth. NWA businesses use census data to determine marketing and growth opportunities. The data describes where people live, their living arrangements, ages, income, educational attainment, commuting patterns and occupations.
Arkansas receives almost $10 billion annually based on census information that helps pay for hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads and many more services.
Every uncounted resident means a loss of approximately $3,300 each year for the next 10 years; even a 1% undercount in 2020 may result in more than $185 million in lost funds over a 10-year period for Washington and Benton Counties alone.
More than 36.2 percent of households across the nation have responded to the 2020 Census since invitations began arriving in mailboxes March 12-20. Response rates are updated in the map daily seven days a week so that the public can see how well their community is doing compared to the nation and other areas.
The Census Bureau is strongly encouraging the public to respond to the 2020 Census online using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone or tablet. You can respond online or by phone in English or 12 other languages.
When you respond:
Respond for where you live as of April 1 (Census Day).
Include everyone who usually lives and sleeps in your home as of April 1, even if they are staying somewhere else temporarily. This includes relatives, friends, roommates and anyone else who lives and sleeps in your home most of the time — even children under age five and babies born on or before April 1, even if they are still in the hospital.
Count college students where they live while attending school. If they live on campus in university/college housing such as dorms or fraternity/sorority houses, they will be counted by school officials and do not need to respond. However, if they live off campus in private housing or apartments, they should respond to the census on their own using their off-campus address even if they are currently staying elsewhere.
Find additional answers about “Who to Count” at 2020census.gov.
You can use the Census ID from your invitation or provide your address when you respond. Then, please make sure your friends, family and social networks know about the importance of responding and encourage them to complete their census.
Some households — in areas less likely to respond online — have already received a paper questionnaire along with their first invitation. Households that have not responded online or by phone will receive a paper questionnaire April 8-16.
For more information, visit 2020census.gov.