While we are focusing our attention on remaining healthy during COVID-19, one way in which we can all come together and improve our community is through filling out the 2020 Census. The census is a simple count of everyone in the United States regardless of age, immigration status or any other factor. Counting everyone helps determine funding for a variety of federal programs like Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), education grants, health centers, and other vital services that support New Mexico’s children and families. Completing the census is easy. Your answers are secure, and the impact of your response is profound. Count everyone in your household at the 2020 US Census website .
What is the Census?
The census is mandated by the U.S Constitution and happens every 10 years. It serves as a count of everyone living in the United States. This includes babies, children, grandparents, other relatives, roommates and any other person living in your home who may or may not be related to you.
Why is it Important?
The census determines how more than $800 billion in federal funds are distributed to communities across the United States including more than $7 billion per year in New Mexico. Census data is also used to determine representation in the government. Census data helps to determine the distribution of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and district lines at all levels of government.
When it comes to the census, just a 1% undercount in New Mexico means a loss of $780 million over the next ten years. The government distributes federal funding for a variety of health programs based on population data. An accurate census count helps New Mexico get the proper resources to uphold various social and essential services needed to keep New Mexicans stay healthy and safe.
Health care institutions also depend on census data for emergency preparedness and study public health. The census count is integral for managing health crises as it allows health care providers to understand and track disease over time. For every person not counted during the census, New Mexico loses out on a minimum of $3,700 per person per year.
When and how should you respond?
The 2020 Census will take place from March 12, 2020 through October 2020.
Most households received a mailed packet from the U.S. Census Bureau with an invitation to respond. The packet contains a unique 12-digit ID code that you need to use when completing the form.
Respond online, by phone or by mail. It can be completed over the phone in 13 different languages. It can also be completed by mail in English or Spanish. The questions are simple, and all responses are confidential and protected by law.