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How to make sure you are counted as 2020 U.S. Census deadline approaches

Posted at 7:34 PM, Sep 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-14 00:32:57-04

Time is running out to be counted in the 2020 United States Census.

It's a nationwide headcount that happens every 10 years and impacts how the government distributes funds locally and statewide.

On Saturday, the Santa Barbara County Promoters Network coordinated a Census Caravan in parts of Lompoc where the census response rate has been particularly low.

“When not everyone counts, we lose money that can come into the services in our city," said Maribel Landeros, and employee with the Health Linkages in Santa Barbara County.

Missing out on people counted per household can mean money lost toward services in cities, such as roadways and education services.

"The main reason we conduct the Census is Constitution mandates it for the purposes of apportionment and that’s to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives," Donald Benz a media coordinator for the U.S. Census Los Angeles region said.

Kendra Johnson, a nurse from the Welcome Every Baby Family Connects Program, said every baby counts as their own person in a full household.

So far, Santa Barbara County has reported a response rate of 70.3%, passing the state's overall at 68.2%.

San Luis Obispo County has a response rate of 67.5%, which is up from the 2010 self-response rate.

“The last day we’re going to be knocking on doors is September 30th," Benz said. "Please, fill out your Census as soon as possible.”

There are three ways to respond to the U.S. Census: by phone, online or by mail.

Those who have not yet responded to the Census may get a knock on the door from Census takers.

Legitimate Census takers should provide a federal identification badge with a photo and an iPhone to input information.

A Census taker will never ask for any kind of personal information such as a credit card or social security number.

The U.S. Census Bureau says information gathered is protected by law and cannot be used against a person by law enforcement or traced back to a respondent.

For more information on how to respond, click here.