2020 Census

Mariah Arviso, Reporter

The 2020 California Census count started on March 12 and will conclude on April 1.  

Every ten years, the Census count happens to ensure that enough state funding is given based on the number of citizens in each state. Previous Census counts have determined the amount of funding California has gotten for health care, emergency services, and public schools. Some of the funds will also go to other programs that need federal funding during statewide emergencies.  

The current pandemic of COVID-19 made filling out this year’s Census more crucial than other previous counts. The growing numbers of cases have caused a shortage of medical staff, hospital beds and medical equipment to fight the virus. If a large number of people filled out the 2020 Census, government funding could increase in the hopes of providing more medical staff and equipment on hand.  

The Census also determines the number of seats allotted to each state for representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Government leaders are hoping for an estimated 40 million Americans to participate in taking the 2020 Census survey. Doing so would ensure more state funding in times of national emergencies.  

According to the United States Census website, “Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.” 

During the last Census count in 2010, the estimated number of the US population averaged to be about 308,745,538 million people. This was a 9.7 percent increase from the 2000 Census count. The large number of participants in 2010 allowed for state funding to be at 1.87 billion dollars. 

The 2020 Census was the 24th time that the population was counted since 1970, according to the United States Census website. On March 21, the United States Census announced that only 16.7 percent of households responded to the mail invitations to fill out the 2020 Census. Since then, they have allowed for the Census to be completed online or by phone.  

If the number of people doesn’t meet the average number of responses based on a specific area, a Census tracker will eventually visit households that have not completed the survey.