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The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

Why You Should Respond to the 2020 Census


The U.S. Census Bureau is ensuring that, however you choose to respond—online, by phone, or by mail—that the census is accessible. Youll receive an invitation to respond beginning in mid-March, and YOU choose how you want to respond.

Online

You can respond online in English or 12 additional languages. The online questionnaire is accessible following the latest web accessibility guidelines.

Phone

You can respond by phone in English or in 12 additional languages. You can also respond in English by TDD at 844-467-2020.

Paper Questionnaire

By mid-April, the U.S. Census Bureau will mail a paper questionnaire to every household that has not already responded. (Some households will receive a paper questionnaire along with the first invitation in March.) Braille and large print guides will be available​ online to assist you with completing the paper questionnaire.

In Person

If necessary, you can respond in person beginning in mid-May. Census takers will visit all households that have not yet responded. There will be census takers available who can communicate in American Sign Language and additional languages. When the census taker visits to help you respond, you can request another census taker who communicates in the language you prefer. Also, you can choose to have another member of your household interact with the census taker.

Responding to the Census is Important

A complete count helps ensure that services like Medicare, Medicaid, social security, and public transportation can support those who need them.

Responding is Safe

All of the information you share with us is protected by law and cannot be used against you.

Responding is Accessible

The U.S. Census Bureau are doing everything they can to ensure the ways to respond are accessible to everyone.

For questions, visit 2020census.gov​.

The 2020 Census is Hiring!

For more specific information on 2020 Census jobs and to apply, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting to fill hundreds of temporary positions across West Virginia to assist with the 2020 Census count.​ You can be a part of history and join the Census team.

Who Can Apply?

The U.S. Census Bureau invites anyone to apply, including:
  • ​Retirees
  • ​College students
  • ​People who do not have a job and are looking for temporary employment
  • ​People already working who are looking for a second job
  • ​People available to work flexible hours, which can include days, evenings, and/or weekends

To be eligible for a 2020 Census job, applicants must:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • ​Have a valid Social Security number
  • ​Pass a Census Bureau-performed background check and a review of criminal records, including fingerprinting

Work Within Your Schedule and Get Paid​

Jobs for the 2020 Census offer competitive wages that are paid weekly. Wages vary depending on position. Also, authorized expenses, such as mileage, are reimbursed for employees doing field work. In addition, temporary positions for the 2020 Census feature flexible hours—perfect fit if you are looking to earn extra money, even if you already have other commitments.

Supporting Your State and Your Community

Census takers work in and support their local communities. The Census results you collect determine the amount federal dollars coming into West Virginia and its communities. This money helps fund community, education, service and healthcare programs. Additionally, the Census count determines representation in Congress. Working for the U.S. Census, you will be an integral part in counting West Virginians so we are represented on a national level. The work you do helps our communities and the people of West Virginia.

For more information on 2020 Census jobs, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUR RESPONSE

Some Groups are at Risk of Being Miscounted

According to U.S. Census Bureau findings, these groups are a statistically at higher risk of being misrepresented on the census:

  • ​African Americans
  • Latinxs 
  • Asians/Pacific Islanders
  • Children under the age of 5

​Undercounted Groups are at Risk of Being Served and Underrepresented

Not responding to the census can lead to major cuts in funding for important programs and services including:

  • ​Nonprofit organizations
  • Public health
  • Emergency and disaster response
  • Education
  • Veterans assistance

By taking part in the 2020 census, you are standing up for your community. Your response helps your neighborhood attract businesses and ensures your state gets proper representation in Washington D.C. 

Why You Count

By filling out the census, you are saying that you deserve to be heard and seen by the representatives in your community. Accurate counts can mean more federal funding to communities. Funding from the census helps:

  • Fight poverty
  • Drive business
  • Grow underdeveloped areas

No matter your race, gender, ethnic, or religious background, YOU deserve to be represented. You matter. Be counted. Take the 2020 Census.

For more information on the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov​.

WH​AT IS THE CENSUS?

The census is a national headcount mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The survey is conducted by the nonpartisan U.S. Census Bureau. Taken once every 10 years, this population tally determines the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. It also affects the amount of federal funding your community receives for education, transportation, employment and other vital services.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL BE REQUESTED?

The census will collect basic information about the people living in your household. Questions include how many people are staying at your home on April 1, 2020, their ages and genders, and whether you own or rent the home.

WHAT INFORMATION WILL NOT BE REQUESTED?”

The Census Bureau will never ask for:

  • Social Security numbers.
  • Bank or credit card account numbers.
  • Money or donations.
  • Anything on behalf of a political party.

WHEN WILL I COMPLETE THE CENSUS?

Beginning in mid-March 2020, people will receive a notice in the mail to complete the 2020 census. By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate. You can respond by phone, mail, or for the very first time, online. In May, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin visiting in person the households that haven’t responded to the census. It’s important to ensure an accurate count because by December 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau must deliver the apportionment counts to Congress.

HOW CAN I BE SURE THE PERSON AT MY DOOR IS REA​​LLY WITH THE CENSUS?

The census taker will have a valid identification badge with his or her photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date. If you are still uncertain, call 800-923-8282 to speak to a local Census Bureau representative.

WHAT DOES THE GOVERNMENT WANT WITH MY INFORMATION?

The U.S. census is required by the Constitution in order to keep a count on the number of Americans that there are and to see general information. Your personal information will never be discussed or disclosed and is protected by federal law and sworn oath. The information you give cannot and will not affect you legally, including if you are an undocumented immigrant working here. You will not lose any rights by completing the census. This is only to help distribute federal funding and keep a correct and complete count.

WHO IS REQUIRED TO RESPOND?

Anyone living in the 50 states, the District of Columbia or U.S. territories is required to be counted in the census.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I REFUSE TO RESPOND TO THE CENSUS?

Responding to the census is a civic duty and a legal requirement. Not completing the census causes a decrease in federal funding and representation. If you refuse, or if you provide false information, you can face fines or be met with legal action.

WHY IS THE US CENSUS IMPORTANT FOR WEST VIRGINIAN​S?

We could lose representatives in Washington D.C., which means West Virginia doesn’t get as much funding or representation for our home state. We lose federal funding (about $2,000 per person/household that does not complete the census) which means less support for infrastructure, nonprofit organizations, and businesses.

WHY IS THE CENSUS IMPORTANT FOR VETERANS?

Veterans are the cornerstone of service and support for West Virginians and our nation. They are one of the least counted groups that are in desperate need of representation. If they do not complete the census, they lose out on money for support groups, therapy and mental health programs, and many other programs for Veterans Affairs. Federal dollars and representation change the benefits veterans receive in West Virginia.

WHY IS THE CENSUS IMPORTANT FOR MINORITIES?

Studies show that minorities are the larges groups misrepresented in the US Census. African Americans and Latino Americans are often grossly under-counted. This can lead to major cuts to funding for nonprofit organizations, public health and more. By responding to and completing the US Census you are making a difference in the representation of your community. No matter what race, gender, ethnic, or religious background you come from; we all deserve to be represented and accounted for. We all matter. By filling out the Census you are stating that you deserve to be heard and seen by your representatives and your community.

WHY IS THE CENSUS IMPORTANT FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS?​​

College students who live on campus DO NOT need to respond with their family/home address. College students must respond with the city or town in which they reside during their time in college (i.e. a West Virginia University student would respond with Morgantown and not their hometown). The U.S. census affects financial aid, federal funding for education, student demographics, and representation in local and national level. If students do not respond, they miss out on opportunities to better their future.

For more information about the U.S. 2020 census, click here​​.

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