Harrisburg, PA – Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin reminded all Pennsylvanians to be a good neighbor and respond to the 2020 Census.
“As we continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing, Pennsylvanians can support their neighbors and communities by responding to the 2020 Census,” said Sec. Davin. “This simple act is something we can all safely do from home—by mail, phone, or for the first time ever, online.”
This year marks the 22nd year of the United States Census, and commonwealth residents began receiving invitations to fill out the 2020 Census in the beginning of March. All households should have already received their initial invitation.
Taking time to respond to the 2020 Census now means a Census taker will not need to visit your home later. Beginning May 13, 2020, Census takers will begin a phased restart of on-field operations in the commonwealth by dropping off 2020 Census invitation packets at the front doors of households in areas where the majority of households do not receive mail at their home.
The deadline to respond has been extended from August 14, 2020, to October 31, 2020.
“While Pennsylvania’s response rate is currently higher than the national average, there are still some communities with response rates under 20 percent,” said Sec. Davin. “By encouraging all residents to respond to the Census, those communities will help ensure that they receive fair and adequate access to critical funding, resources, and federal representation.”
The Census questionnaire is confidential and straightforward, with questions that include your name, address, sex, race, ethnicity, age, and whether you own or rent your home. The Census Bureau will never ask about your citizenship status or for sensitive information like your social security number, bank accounts, or payments/donations. The Census Bureau will never reach out to you on behalf of a political party. Your responses to the Census are protected by law and cannot be shared with, or used by, any other government agencies. Answers cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits or immigration enforcement.
The United States Constitution requires a Census count once every 10 years to count every person living in the United States once and only once. The results of the 2020 Census will help provide fair representation when determining congressional districts, policy, decision-making, and distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding that impacts the daily lives of Pennsylvanians over the next 10 years.
Casey Smith, DCED, 717.783.1132
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