The 2020 Census seeks to establish an accurate count of the nation’s population and has been conducted every ten years since 1790, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The census is required, important, and can have a significant impact on your community’s bottom line. Census data is used for
- federal, state, and local funding distributions
- intergovernmental agreements
- drawing state and federal legislative districts
- school districts
- congressional reapportionment.
As a result of the 2010 population count, Georgia gained a congressional seat. In addition, the census ensures that Georgians receive their appropriate share of over $675 billion in federal aid that is distributed to state and local governments using Census numbers every year. The 2010 Census yielded a count of 9,687,653 people in Georgia and provided the state with $15.88 billion. Each Georgian that participated in the 2010 Census effectively brought $1,639.10 to the state.
Given the importance of an accurate census count for municipal governments in Georgia, GMA has compiled the following online resources:
- The State of Georgia created a website for the 2020 Census, which includes general information, sections on confidentiality and data security, and ways for local governments to increase awareness about the census via Complete Count Committees (CCC).
- The U.S. Census Bureau has created the Integrated Partnership and Communications (IPC) program to convey the importance of the 2020 Census nationwide. This program provides information and tools as well as a list of existing partners for collaboration opportunities. The IPC team focuses on three priorities:
- educating people about the census to improve the effectiveness of enumerators
- encouraging and motivating people to respond to the census on their own
- engaging grass-roots organizations to encourage hard-to-count groups and those who are not motivated to respond.
- The U.S. Census Bureau also provides assistance to local officials in their efforts to create CCCs, including a 2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide. To learn more and to schedule a workshop on forming a CCC, contact the Atlanta Regional Office at (404) 730-3834. City officials interested in other outreach efforts, including partnerships to increase census participation, may contact Partnership Specialists Vicki Mack or Thurmond Tillman.
- Anyone interested in learning more about employment opportunities with the 2020 Census can visit the federal 2020 Census Jobs website, view Georgia Employment Opportunities, call 1-855-889-8932, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes and Motivators Study (CBAMS) intends to show how to reach all populations, including segments that are historically hard to count, and which types of messages may be most effective. CBAMS results are summarized in two reports: 1) the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study Survey Report and 2) the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study Focus Group Final Report. Both reports suggest that the chief barrier to participation in the 2020 Census is a lack of understanding of the purpose and process of the census associated with apathy, privacy concerns, fear of repercussions, and general distrust of government. Certain demographic characteristics, including education, age, and race/ethnicity, are also related to low levels of intent to self-respond to the census. Participants might be persuaded of the importance and purpose of the census if they make the connection between completing a census form and the possibility of an increase in funding or support for their community, notably in support of critical institutions, organizations, and services.
- The National League of Cities created Cities Count: Preparing for the 2020 Census to provide local leaders with resources to prepare for the upcoming 2020 Census. The website contains links to a municipal action guide as well as a checklist, timeline, talking points and other information.
- George Washington University's Counting for Dollars 2020 research project seeks to identify each federal program that geographically distributes financial assistance based, in whole or part, on data derived from the decennial census, and to ascertain the connection between census accuracy and the equitable distribution of funds to states and local areas. The project prepared a Counting for Dollars 2020 Georgia factsheet that outlines census-based funding from 16 large federal assistance programs for FY 2015.
- The City University of New York (CUNY) Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research has developed a map of hard-to-count (HTC) communities to highlight areas of the country whose populations had low mail return rates for the 2010 Census. The map provides information to local, regional, statewide, and national organizations that are working to make sure these hard-to-count areas and populations are fully counted to help ensure a fair and accurate census.
- The U.S. Census Bureau depends on state and local government officials and community leaders to communicate the importance of every household responding. To help communities tailor their outreach efforts that encourage residents to return their completed census forms, the agency designed the nationwide Response Outreach Area Mapper that displays the predicted mail-in reply rates by census tract. Please refer to the ROAM Quick Tips Guide for help in navigating the map.
- The U.S. Census Bureau provides technical guidance to local governments, including the Final 2020 Census Residence Criteria and Residence Situations. This document contains residence criteria used to determine where people are counted during each decennial census as well as guidelines for specific populations, such as military personnel, college students, people in correctional facilities, and people experiencing homelessness.
If you have questions or comments regarding the 2020 Census and these resources, please contact Becky Taylor
at (678) 686-6276 or Holger Loewendorf
at (678) 686-6246.