Preparing for the 2020 Census
The United States is required to perform a national count of all people living in each state every ten years (U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2). The 2020 census impacts Maryland in several important ways like: 1) Determines representation in Congress and impacts local legislative districts; 2) Determines funding for critical programs and services; and 3) Assists in determining where we need to focus economic development, school construction and transportation projects, as well as public health, public safety and emergency planning.
We need everyone to be counted in the U.S. 2020 Census. No matter who you are or where you come from, we all benefit from a full and accurate count. Did you know, Maryland’s under-count in the 2010 census resulted in the state losing almost $1 billion in federal funding?
Census data is used to determine the level of federal funding for programs such as health programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants and Children (SNAP/WIC), Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In fact, every year, the federal government allocates more than $675 Billion in funding based on census data. Completing your census form ensures Maryland families, neighbors and communities receive the support they need to live, work, play and grow.
Filling out your census form can be done in three ways – by mail, phone and online. The 2020 census will be the first online census in U.S. history. Answering the demographic questions in the census helps make sure your community receives its fair share of funding and that economic development and planning decisions accurately reflect your community on April 1, 2020.
The U.S. Census Bureau must keep all information confidential, including a resident’s citizenship, income and other sensitive personal data. Data is collected for statistical purposes only and personal data is never disclosed. All census information is private and protected by law in Title 13 of the U.S. Code with violations punishable up to five years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.