Every ten years, the Federal Government makes a complete count of everyone in the United States. The U.S. Census aims to count the entire population at the location where each person usually lives. The next census is due in 2020.
Providence County Leads the Way!
Providence County is the national test site for the 2020 census. Starting this month, Providence Community Library will assist the U.S. Census Bureau and the City of Providence to test operations and procedures for gathering information during the 2020 census. The goal of the test is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. Providence County will help fine tune the model that will be rolled out nationwide in 2020. All people in Providence County, including college students, who are resident on Census Test Day, April 1, will be included in the Census Complete Count Test.
How to Complete the Test
The Census Complete Count Test questionnaire is available online and you can fill it out on any computer device or smartphone. The questionnaire, which can also be answered by phone or returned by mail, includes ten basic questions about you and your household and takes less than ten minutes to complete.
Completed Returns are Confidential
Returns are protected by law (Title I3 of the U.S. code, Section 9) and are strictly confidential. It is illegal for the U.S.Census Bureau, or its employees, to share personal information with any other government agency, including law enforcement, IRS, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), FBI, Immigration, etc. Census returns are sealed and not available as public documents for 72 years.
Why is it important to get an accurate count in the Census?
Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
Why the Census Matters to our Libraries
Over the last five years, Providence Community Library has received a substantial amount of funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through the City of Providence to support our Spanish GED program and pay for repairs and improvements to our buildings. The availability of that funding depends in part on the accuracy of the US Census. The Census is important to Providence and to PCL!
Help Providence Help You by Completing the Census Test!
When you do the math, it’s easy to see how an accurate count of residents can help the community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. Let’s make the 2018 Complete Census Count Test count for all of us in Providence County. Encourage everyone you know to go online and answer the few questions so the whole country will see the strength and commitment we have to create a better community!
Providence County households have a unique opportunity to help our community and nation get an accurate population count in the 2020 Census. We are the only test site in the U.S. in 2018, and it is exciting to know that we are helping to create the model that the whole country will follow in 2020. Let’s set the bar high for the most complete count possible! The goal is to count every person living in Providence County.
Census Day for the test is April 1, 2018 and Providence County households are able to respond online beginning on March 16. Letters were mailed to households with information about the test and how to respond. For the first time, you will be able to respond to the census online using desktop computers, laptops, smartphones or tablets. You can also respond by phone or on paper.
Your census responses are safe, secure and protected by law. Every Census Bureau employee swears a lifetime oath to protect your information, and could go to jail or be fined up to $250,000 if they violate that oath. It is illegal for the Census Bureau, or its employees, to share your personal information with any other government agency, local law enforcement, IRS, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), FBI, Immigration, etc. Not even the President of the United States can access your individual responses. Individual records from the Census are sealed for 72 years.
– Children count! Remember to include young children on your census form.
– College students count! College students living in Providence County on April 1 should be counted.
– Citizens and noncitizens alike count! The Constitution requires the census to count every resident in the nation— whether they are citizens or not.
Responding is easy, safe and important. The census test asks just a few questions and takes about 10 minutes to respond.
Why is it important to get an accurate count in the Census? Census data are used in many ways, affecting our daily lives. Some examples include:
– Distribution of more than $675 billion annually in federal funds back to state, local, and tribal governments.
– Redistricting of state legislative districts.
– Forecasting of future transportation needs for all segments of the population.
– Determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.
– Assisting federal, tribal, state, and local governments in planning and implementing programs and services and emergency response.
– Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.
Over the last five years Providence Community Library has received a substantial amount of CDBG funding to support our Spanish GED program and to do major repairs on our libraries. That funding comes from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and what is allocated to Providence in total for CDBG funds is partially dependent on census data. Having the opportunity to impact that funding through encouraging everyone to be counted is exciting to us because we can serve more people!
It is easy to see what an accurate count of residents can do for your community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. Let’s make the 2018 Census Test count for all of us in Providence County, and show our commitment to creating a better community. Encourage everyone you know to respond!
Questions about the Census:
Once you fill out the Census, do you get a confirmation page?
Yes, there is a confirmation page you can print or save as a PDF from the Internet Self Response.
How does the non-response follow up period work on college campuses? How do you reach students who don’t fill out the form?
College dorms are part of the Group Quarters Enumeration (GQE) operation. We will call all GQs during our GQ Advance Contact operation from June 18 to July 10, 2018. GQ enumeration is planned for July 30 – Aug 24, 2018. The facilities will be able to respond without involving the students, via electronic response data transfer or paper response data collection. We will encourage colleges to assist us in counting the students using data from their records (and preferably electronically) since the data collection is taking place significantly later than reference day.
For off-campus housing in 2018, we will follow the regular non-response follow-up (NRFU) procedures. We understand that students may have left the area by the time NRFU operations begin, but we will do the best we can. (In 2020, we will do Early NRFU in the blocks identified as having off-campus housing, which will start in early April.)
How does the homeless population fill out the Census if they do not receive a home ID number?
We count people experiencing homelessness in our Targeted NonSheltered Outdoor Locations (TNSOL) operation. For 2018, enumerators will visit known outdoor locations in an overnight operation in late July to collect census information from any individuals currently staying there.
Shelters for people experiencing homelessness will be part of the GQE operation. We will call all facilities during our GQ Advance Contact operation from June 18 to July 10, 2018. We will ask questions to determine the best time to conduct the enumeration, how many enumerators and materials we need to send, and to ascertain facility rules, logistics and safety concerns.
Which languages will the Census form/Census marketing materials be available in? Both for the test and the 2020 Census? Can the Census still be filled out in languages not included (e.g. Portuguese)?
The Enumeration instrument is available in Spanish. There are currently no plans for promotional materials.
Will “Jane or John Doe” be permitted on census forms for households concerned about privacy?
Yes, we instruct the enumerators that they can enter nicknames or Person 1, Person 2 etc. if the respondent does not want to provide their real name.