WHAT IS THE CENSUS?
Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau carries out a constitutionally mandated count of the nation’s residents. The goal of the 2020 Census is to count every person living in the United States.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
The Census count determines your community’s share of over $700 billion each year in funding for Virginia. Results from the census inform:
- where health clinics, libraries, and roads will be built
- whether or not your child’s classroom will be overcrowded
- funding for nutrition programs to feed hungry children like SNAP and WIC
- funding for the state children’s health insurance program FAMIS
- how many seats in Congress are allocated for the next 10 years
- how Voices tracks child well-being over time and our advocacy work on policies
WHO IS MISSED?
- Children under age five • People of color • Low-income communities • Rural communities • Complex families
COMMON SITUATIONS WHERE CHILDREN COULD BE MISSED
The child splits time between two homes, for example divorced parents
Count the child where he/she lives most often. If the child spends an equal amount of time between homes, count the location on April 1. Don’t forget to coordinate with other caregivers!
The child stays with another family or relative
Children should be counted where they live most often, even if the living arrangement is temporary or the parents do not live there.
The child is a newborn
Parents should include all babies born on or before April 1, even if the child is still in the hospital.
The child lives in a household with more people than allowed on the lease
The U.S. Census Bureau does not share information with ANYONE. Strict laws, that include severe penalties and jail time, protect you —so everyone should be counted!
Parents or caregivers of the child speak limited or no English
The 2020 Census will be available in 13 languages both online and by phone, so families can complete it in the language they choose.
Connected with the Partnership for America’s Children, which leads the Count All Kids campaign and is the leading expert in the undercount of young children, providing the most current research and resources to share with our partners
Appointed by the Governor to serve on the Virginia Complete Count Commission to represent the voice of young children
Educating trusted messengers such as hospitals, faith communities, direct service providers, and other child-serving organizations about the importance of the Census and serving as a source of accurate information
Working with local governments to encourage the formation of complete count committees and ensuring the voice of young children is represented where committees have already been formed
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Help families understand the importance of participating in the Census
- Provide reliable information and messaging, share on social media using the hashtags #countallkids and #2020Census
- Partner with a wide variety of trusted messengers to communicate about the Census to families and provide internet access if needed
- Get out the word! Author an op-ed in a newspaper and get the word out through social media
- Join your complete count committee or encourage local leaders to start one
- Learn where young children are missed the most in your community using the mapping software below