PORT ORCHARD — Between March 12-20, invitations to participate in the 2020 Census will start arriving in households across the country, including Kitsap County.
A Kitsap County Complete Count Committee, formed in 2019 in coordination with the U.S. Census 2020, is seeking to coordinate and support community outreach about the census, especially to hard-to-count people that include those living without homes or in temporary accommodations, children under 5, the elderly and those for whom English is a second language, said committee members.
There also is a local website — kitsap2020census.com — that has been established to provide tools, resources and information about the 2020 Census.
“Kitsap County is unique in that we are a diverse community,” said Leslie Daugs, Kitsap County 2020 Complete County Census coordinator.
“With this diversity, we need to make sure that everyone is counted in the upcoming 2020 Census. What’s new this year is that people can respond to the census online. It is important to realize how the number of people who respond to the census helps determine — for the next 10 years — how tax dollars are distributed for roads, schools and services, and representation in the government. This amounts to $2,900 for every person counted, so don’t forget to complete the Census.”
The U.S. Census Bureau’s invitation will include instructions on how to respond to the census online or by telephone. The census questionnaire has nine questions and one must be completed for each individual residing in a household, according to census officials. The Census Bureau protects the data collected, officials said, and is bound by law to keep it strictly confidential.
“Response is important because statistics from the census are used in distributing where hundreds of billions in funding for school lunches, hospitals, roads and much more,” said Dr. Steven Dillingham, Census Bureau director.
“The invitations will remind respondents to include everyone living in the household, whether they are related or not. This includes young children. Your response will impact communities for the next decade.”
By April 1, the official census day, most households that have not yet responded will have received an invitation by mail. Reminder mailings will be sent to households that do not respond.
A sample of the 2020 Census paper questionnaire and a preview of the online questionnaire are available on the census website.
The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. Census statistics also help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated to state and local communities for the next 10 years.
For more information about the 2020 Census, contact Leslie Daugs at 360-440-1961, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit kitsap2020census.com or 2020census.gov.