The 2020 Census and What it Means for the Next 10 Years

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With pandemic precautions, the 2020 census was conducted in a variety of ways, from online, to the mail, and of course a knock at the door. Photo by Karen Rivera

The census determines a vast amount of things, such as how many seats each state has in the Senate. The census counts each person in the U.S. every 10 years, and this is crucial for representation, and funding in the government might affect the nation.

Raquel Duran, LAHS alumni said, “I think people hate the inconvenience of it all, opening a door to a stranger and especially in the current pandemic I don’t necessarily want to open the door to someone who has been knocking on the doors of everyone in the neighborhood today.”

During the pandemic, filling out the census was made more convenient through mail-in surveys, taking away any contact with others. People could visit and easily fill out the survey at my2020census.gov. In an effort to obtain the most accurate number of people the United States Census Bureau followed up with phone calls and home visits if people did not fill in their forms.

A great number of issues are affected by the results of the census data, such as, federal funding for states, hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives, and the drawing of district lines.

Duran said, “People are afraid of anything in relation to the government, especially in California, with so many undocumented immigrants people are definitely not going to be reporting their households accurately out of fear.”

The U.S. Census Bureau has been mandated to not share the information they collect with any law enforcement. The data collected is critical at both the national and community level as it can greatly determine funding and legislature for the next ten years, so it is critical to be accurate and truthful while filling it out.

Originally the deadline for the census was July 31, then changed to October 31, pushed forward to September 30, and then returned to October 30. The ultimate deadline was October 15, 2020.

Accurate representation is crucial in ensuring that the nation always serves in the best interest of the people it governs. The census is the foundation for nearly all statistics in the U.S. and performs a vital job in public life and political representation.