Stand Up and Be Counted

2020! A new decade, time for a fresh start and time to be counted in the upcoming census. The census is taken in the United States every 10 years since 1790. The 1790 census was conducted by marshals of the U.S. judicial districts and was taken in the 13 original states, the districts of Kentucky, Vermont, Maine and the Southwest Territory with a reported number of 3.9 million inhabitants. We have come a long way since that first census; the 2010 census reported 308.7 million inhabitants in the United States.

Census day is April 1, 2020, that means census responses should be based on your household residents of that date. The Census Bureau will mail out invitations March 12-20 to respond. You can respond by mail, by phone or online. If you do not respond then reminder letters, postcards and a paper form will be sent out. If you fail to respond to those, a census worker may come to your home to get your information. Census workers will never ask you for your Social Security number or information about your bank accounts or credit cards. If you get calls asking those questions, please hang up immediately. Never give out private information to strangers over the phone. If a census worker comes to your home they will not ask to go inside, they will also have a valid ID Badge with their picture, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. If you are unsure or concerned you may call 800-392-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative.

Missouri has many rural areas that have been deemed “hard to count”, let us prove them wrong, let us all be counted! The Census information is safe, secure and protected. The answers you provide are used only to produce statistics. You are kept anonymous: The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in any way that could identify you or anyone else in your home.

It is very important that we get an accurate count of residents in Missouri, according to the Missouri Foundation for Health, for every adult and every child that is not counted in the census; our state will lose $1,300 in federal dollars every year. When every Missourian is counted, we get more money for roads and bridges, hospitals, and schools. That loss of money can have major impacts on the safety and welfare of Missouri residents. Every person not counted gives money needed in Missouri away.

The 2010 census led to Missouri losing a seat in the House of Representatives, we need to make sure our voices are heard. So please respond to the census when you receive the notice, tell your friends and family how important this is and encourage them to respond also. If you need assistance or more information please call Aging Matters 800-392-8771 or visit the Missouri Foundation for Health Census website https://mffh.org/our-focus/census-2020/.

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