Now that we all have more time than usual to go through the mail, you might want to check your stack for a very important invite from the 2020 Census. Census Day is April 1—and you can submit your household count online, by phone or email. Census Day is observed nationwide. When you submit your information, it applies to your situation as of April 1.
It takes, on average, five minutes or less to do online. As an older adult, it’s particularly important that you participate. Why? Here are a few reasons:
- Census experts say the 2020 Census will provide the most accurate and up-to-date count of the baby boom generation, now estimated about 73 million. When the last Census was done in 2010, the oldest boomers had not yet reached 65. By 2034, older adults are projected to outnumber children under age 18 for the first time ever in U.S. history, the Census Bureau says.
- Knowing how many of us are 65 plus helps the federal government (plus local, state and tribal lawmakers) decide how to spend federal funds in public services. That mean roads, hospitals, job-training, Medicare Part B health insurance, senior centers and other vital senior services.
- The Census also helps pinpoint where older people are residing—More in cities? Rural? Who claims more older adults, Florida or California? Or a surprise state?
- Census data will also help experts evaluate the need for caregiver services for those 65 plus. With a decreasing fertility rate of U.S. women—now 1.7 children per woman—not all older Americans can rely on adult children for care, and childless singles or couples not at all.
Okay, I’ve completed the Census. Now what?
- Your answers are kept anonymous, and used only to create the statistics. Census employees must take an oath to protect your personal data for life. Your information cannot be used against you by any government entity or in court.
- The totals from each state will be delivered to the President by December 31, 2020. Each state’s total determines the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
- The Census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution (Article 1, section 2.) and the U.S. has counted the national population every 10 years since 1790.
In selected locations, Senior Planet is offering Census-related activities.
Senior Planet Colorado is hosting an Online Census presentation on April 1 at 1:30 pm (local time) by Marydean Purves from Boomers Leading Change (https://boomersleadingchange.org/).
Attendees will watch a 27-minute video about the Census with interesting activities and Marydean will be live for Q & A. The video is here: https://boomersleadingchange.org/6998-2/
As of this writing, if you don’t respond now, expect a gentle knock on the door in the spring or summer. From May to July Census takers will reach to people who haven’t responded. To keep up on the latest, especially adjustments due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just check this page.