Staff from the United States Census Bureau have already reached out to Santa Rosa County officials ahead of next year’s effort to count everyone living in the United States, an action mandated once per decade by the U.S. Constitution and used to ensure government representation commensurate with the population, which is currently estimated near 329 million.
The Census determines how many representatives each state gets to Congress, and the data is used to help local and state governments plan for the needs of residents. Additionally, the federal government distributes hundreds of billions of dollars to states and communities based on census data.
“It’s really important than we get everyone counted,” Santa Rosa County Public Information Officer Brandi Whitehurst said.
Census representatives say that in 2020 they will make participation “easier than ever” by introducing new technology.
“For the first time you will be able to respond online, by phone or by mail. We will use data that the public has already provided to cut down on household visits,” states the Bureau.
Field offices are being opened now, and advertising will begin in early 2020, leading up to Census Day on April 1, 2020.
Non-response followups will take place from April through late July 2020, and apportionment counts to the President will be presented December 31, 2020.
Redistricting counts to the States will take place March 31, 2020.