Coronavirus and the Census: It’s Easy to Complete the Census Form Online as Social Distancing Remains a Priority

Updated on April 1, 2020 and originally posted March 25, 2020 by the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Coronavirus and the 2020 Census

The glob­al spread of the coro­n­avirus has closed schools, slowed com­merce and brought health issues to the fore­front, and efforts to stay safe and virus-free are at the front of everyone’s mind.

The COVID-19 out­break has also changed, but not stopped, the once-a-decade cen­sus required by the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion. In fact, it has pro­vid­ed the oppor­tu­ni­ty to empha­size that almost every­one can com­plete the cen­sus online in 10 min­utes or less. The cen­sus is a way you can help your com­mu­ni­ty and your fam­i­ly even as you stay at home and prac­tice social distancing.

How to com­plete your cen­sus form

By now, most address­es have received one or more mail­ers with instruc­tions for fill­ing out the cen­sus online. They look like this. If you have not com­plet­ed your cen­sus, now is a great time to do it. Find the invi­ta­tion you received, go to my2020​cen​sus​.gov, enter the code that is spe­cif­ic to your address from your invi­ta­tion and fill out the short online form. Remem­ber to count every­one who is liv­ing at your address, includ­ing tod­dlers and babies.

In places where online respons­es are less like­ly, the mail­ers also include paper ques­tion­naires that can be com­plet­ed and mailed back.

If you need help com­plet­ing the form in Eng­lish, call 844.330.2020. In Span­ish, call 844.468.2020.

How the coro­n­avirus is affect­ing the census

The coro­n­avirus out­break has led the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau to pause cur­rent field oper­a­tions and delay the time­line for send­ing peo­ple door to door to count every­one who does not respond online. The more peo­ple respond online now, the less time and labor it will take to vis­it non-respon­sive address­es this sum­mer. So, fill­ing out your cen­sus online now will help the whole coun­try later.

Why the cen­sus mat­ters dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pandemic

Count­ing every­one at your address, includ­ing babies and tod­dlers, will chan­nel pub­lic health resources and oth­er resources to the places that you and your neigh­bors call home. It’s crit­i­cal that we count all kids because when kids aren’t count­ed, states and cities lose mon­ey and don’t get their fair share of resources to ensure chil­dren thrive.

More­over, the last cen­sus missed young kids of col­or at more than twice the rate that white chil­dren were missed. Chil­dren of all races and back­grounds will grow up to build America’s future, so we must count all kids to make them a pri­or­i­ty and to direct fund­ing to meet their needs.

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