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Making 2020 Count: NAA Partners with US Census Bureau

US Census Bureau

The data from the decennial census decides the destination of over $675 billion dollars each year, affecting 55 federal programs, illustrating the gargantuan effect that the Census has on our democracy. NAA is proud to be a partner of the U.S. Census Bureau as they prepare to fulfill their mission to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. That’s a lofty goal, even in the 21st Century, which the Bureau have been pursuing since it was founded.

When the results were returned in 1791, President George Washington and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson expressed disbelief at the findings of the nation’s first census. They were convinced that the population was undercounted and wrung their hands over what this meant for the new nation. They could not have imagined how prescient their doubts were. 

In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau is thinking along the same lines, but rather than data being collected by 650 18th century horsemen, the 2020 census will focus on slightly more… technological methods.

For the first time, the Census will now be conducted on the phones and over the internet, as well as being available in paper form, and of course, at your doors. The Census Bureau took time early in April to brief partners and press on the progress of their preparation efforts for next year, and that progress is significant.

They’ve already begun vetting more than 200,000 applications for 50,000 temporary jobs helping to complete this massive undertaking. And that’s just to begin with: They plan to seek 2 million applicants for over 500,000 jobs by spring 2020 when efforts will be fully underway, according to Tim Olson, the Census Bureau’s Associate Director for Field Operations. 

There also will be a broad, multimedia advertising push to ensure that people are being counted. More than 1,600 local and state “Complete Count Committees” in 46 states have already been formed, and more are incorporating themselves every day. These committees’ missions encourage local participation, answering questions and providing resources to the residents of their communities about the Census, its goals and methods.

Going forward this year and into 2020, we will be educating and updating our members about Census efforts and developments throughout the process. Be on the lookout for more news soon (and don’t worry, it won’t come by horseback).