Just how many people are in this country, anyway?
One of the interesting things about a new decade is the return of the United States Census. Every ten years, the US government needs to count exactly how many eggs are in the basket. It’s a Constitutional mandate; we’ve being doing this since the country was founded. It’s important for demographical data, as well as things like community funding, congressional representation, and other factors that can change depending on how many people are in one area.
So how does the Census actually work? It’s pretty simple; you’ll receive a notification in the mail, though you may also receive a phone call or email. Once you get the word, then it’s just a matter of responding. Usually, you can respond with a mail-in form, a digital form filled out online, or a telephone survey. Actually, on the subject of surveys, the Census Bureau does conduct surveys sometimes, but even if you’ve completed something for them recently, you still need to participate in the Census proper. Just a warning. Since the information for the Census is for the government, everything that is collected is 100% confidential. The data is only for statistical purposes, not to identify you or your family. Also, remember that a Census form will never ask you for sensitive information like a social security number or bank information. If you get a form asking for that stuff, you’re being duped.
Everyone who lives in the United States is required by law to participate in the Census. Census notifications are usually sent out in March, but for certain territories, including islands like Puerto Rico, remote states like Alaska, or anywhere that recently experienced a natural disaster, the timing may differ slightly. Certain situations like moving to another state or being in prison can make the process a little tricky as well. If you’re unsure about something, visit the Census Bureau’s website for more information.