Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Davin reminded all Pennsylvanians to respond to the 2020 Census as soon as possible.
“Every Pennsylvanian’s response to the 2020 Census matters as it determines funding, congressional representation, and policy for our state,” said Davin. “The administration is counting on residents across the commonwealth to do their part and respond to the Census, as it will impact us all for the next decade.”
In Pennsylvania, 65.4 percent of residents have already responded to the Census, 3.1 percent higher than the national average. Bucks County is among those to have a response rate of over 70 percent.
Pennsylvania’s goal is to ensure that all residents respond to the Census, as a low response rate will impact federal funding and representation. Census data are used to decide how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion annually through its 16 largest federally-funded programs, or about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year.
This year marks the 22nd occasion of the United States Census, and commonwealth residents began receiving invitations to respond to the 2020 Census at the beginning of March. Pennsylvanians can respond online, by phone or by mail, and this year marks the first time in history that responses can be filled out online. Pennsylvanians who have not responded to the 2020 Census should expect a Census enumerator in the coming days to assist with filling out the form. Census workers will carry an official identification card and number for individuals to call and confirm their identity, if necessary. They will also follow federal and state government COVID-19 guidelines.
In May, DCED announced an extension to respond to the 2020 Census from July 31 to Oct. 31, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Census questionnaire is confidential and, according to Davin, straightforward, with questions that include your name, address, sex, race, ethnicity and whether you own or rent your home. The Census Bureau will never ask about your citizenship status or for sensitive information like your Social Security number, bank accounts or payments/donations. The Census Bureau will never reach out on behalf of a political party. Responses to the Census are protected by law and cannot be shared with, or used by, any other government agencies. Answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits or immigration enforcement.
The United States Constitution requires a Census count once every 10 years and counts every person living in the United States once and only once. The results of the 2020 Census will help provide for fair representation when determining congressional districts, policy, decision-making, and distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding that impacts the daily lives of Pennsylvanians over the next 10 years.
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