What happened to the 2020 Census, lost in the fog of politics and other issues?

Census 2020 Screen Shot 2020-08-24 at 8.53.29 AM

Several weeks ago, a local foundation posted on Facebook that the census would be wrapped up by mid-August. Huh? But that was not true. Originally, the deadline for all census material was October 31 – whether via online or on the phone or working with census takers coming to your home.

But then, the current administration pulled the deadline back to September 30. As noted in various stories: “By law, the final census count must be delivered to the president by Dec. 31 of the year it takes place.” That’s a quick turn-around.

Considering that there is a virus spreading through our nation, so many people out of work but looking for work, a postal service stirred up a real problem by a political appointee and others, slowing things down, well, it hit me today, what happened to the 2020 Census?

Back in April, I received a form from the Census Bureau so I could respond online. The form had a code, and it worked. It took a total of like 4 minutes to complete the census questions, and the questions were totally straightforward down the line. (And this was after the administration finally gave up adding a question about immigration status.)

But not everyone has a computer, and not everyone was sort of stuck at home (remember, this was April), and for some people, it was a do-or-die time to find work or help their children being taught at home. Also, the census workers were not going out to visit people because of the virus, though those visits apparently are starting again. The census bureau wants to go to houses and apartment buildings to follow up on those who have not responded. (If you see “NRFU” anywhere, it means “non response, follow up.”)

Below are a few links about the census, but what I was surprised to find was that not that many recent stories have been written about this situation in our area. I know we are swept up by political conventions, and an election, and other pressing things on our minds, but the census covers a lot of territory. It means more funding from the government for education and other services, and more people means changes in our congressional status, since some assume that with more people now living in Colorado would create a new congressional district.

Many of these links deal with the Census Bureau, but there also are a few stories.

https://www.2020census.gov

https://www.2020census.gov/en/response-rates/nrfu.html

https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/planning-management/planning-docs/NRFU-detailed-op-plan.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/24/us/census-bureau.html

As rural Colorado fears being overlooked in 2020 census, some question spending money on outreach

https://www.coloradopolitics.com/news/colorado-philanthropic-leaders-sign-letter-urging-extended-census-deadline/article_bf2a405a-d8bb-11ea-aa58-5fb61191b563.html

Worries about 2020 census’ accuracy grow with cut schedule

 

 

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