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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Everything you need to know about the 2020 Census


It’s time for the census. All across America communities are coming together to be counted as part of the 2020 census which will determine every city’s future for the next ten years. During a global pandemic, submitting the census may be the least of your concerns, but here’s why Fullerton residents should care. 

The data collected determines how more than $675 billion in federal funding will be distributed throughout the country. Both city and county governments get a share of these funds based on their population count — which is why it’s critical that the census counts everyone.

One source of this federal funding allocated based on census data is emergency relief funds. An accurate count can lead to the appropriate amount of funds sent to medical centers, which will then allow the right amount of people to be treated. Since the coronavirus and the local emergency declaration, $555.4 million of coronavirus relief funds (CRF) has been distributed to Orange County.

Educational programs within Fullerton’s school district are also funded based on census data. Some of these programs include the Federal Pell Grant and the National School Lunch Program. These funds are also used for educational necessities like classroom technology, headstart/after school programs, scholarship money, and building/road renovations surrounding schools. These funds also go to programs like unemployment insurance, Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment program, medical assistance and many other essential programs.

Although some may still be skeptical about giving out their information to the government, all answers from the survey are both confidential and private. (Photo Credit: U.S. Census Bureau )

Although there are many people that do not participate in the census in fear that a question regarding citizenship will be on the census, there is not a question regarding citizenship anywhere on the questionnaire.

The form takes about ten minutes to fill out and consists of questions about the family members in each household. The questions are not invasive on personal information. Instead, they ask demographic questions that will make up the city’s statistics. For example, they ask for the number of residents in the household, how each is related, the age, sex and race of each member.

Every resident in the United States should be counted; this includes individuals who are typically under-counted such as: non-citizens, those who are homeless, children and babies and elderly adults. The census is made for everyone to submit, but many do not feel recognized by the questions on the form. For example, there are only two options for sex, which are either male or female. There is also no choice for Middle Eastern / North African when they ask for your race. Instead they included a section where you are able to write in your race if it is not listed. 

In this year’s census they did add the option to identify whether or not you are in a same sex marriage, which has been requested for a while now.

Although some may still be skeptical about giving out their information to the government, all answers from the survey are both confidential and private. The Census Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the U.S. Code, which states the bureau can only use your responses to create their statistics. This means that the Census Bureau cannot share any of your answers and personal information with other government agencies such as ICE, CIA, FBI or any other agency. 

The original way of submitting the questionnaire through the mail and over the phone is still available; however, due to the coronavirus census workers will not be going door-to-door to help submit the survey. This year’s census has also added the option of completing and submitting the questionnaire online, but in order to complete the form online, you must have received your 12-character census ID in the mail. This ID must be entered to verify your exact address and location. Be sure to keep an eye out for your mail as a letter and reminders will be sent from the Census Bureau.