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Hey, Pennsylvania – Complete the 2020 Census ASAP!

September 14, 2020 03:00 PM
By: PDE Press and Communications Office

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Did you know that the U.S. Constitution requires a census count every ten years?

Why? To document population increases, decreases, and changes in community demographics. This data is then used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives and to determine the amount of federal funding states receive for essential programs and services – including schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and more – for the next ten years!

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores – which create jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.

Based on our last population count, Pennsylvania receives $26.8 billion annually for our 16 largest federally funded programs alone.

So, how can you participate? Set aside ten minutes before September 30 and respond to the 2020 Census by phone, mail, or online. 

If you have not yet responded to the 2020 Census, expect a census worker to contact you in person or over the phone. How can you identify a census worker if they contact you in person? They must carry a valid ID badge that includes their photo, the U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. You can also call 800-923-8282 to check. 

Animation of a computer with a privacy lock and the words Census 2020 in a keystone.

Remember, the information you provide as part of the census can never be used against you – and that is the law. Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the U.S. Census Bureau cannot release any information about you or others in your household. Your census answers can only be used to produce statistics.

Image of a diverse group of men, women, and children with the words Census 2020 in a keystone.

Who is most likely to be missed in the census? Children, immigrants, and people of color. Rural households and residents experiencing economic hardship or homelessness are also likely to be missed. We need everyone’s help to ensure our communities receive their fair share of federal public funding and influence. Please spread the word and participate in the 2020 Census by September 30.

Visit for more information, resources, and to take the census.

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