The 2020 Census will be used to determine our congressional representation, Maine legislative districts, and funding for the next decade for education, transportation, and hospitals, as well as critical programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, and SNAP. QUICK ACTION: Complete your 2020 Census now!
By now, every address in the U.S. should have received a 2020 Census form in the mail, part of a constitutionally-mandated count the government must do every 10 years of every individual living in the U.S. and five U.S. territories. Census results are used to determine congressional representation and Maine legislative districts and the amount of federal funding states receive for education, transportation, hospitals, fire departments, and vital programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, school lunches, and SNAP. Using data from the 2010 Census, Maine received more than $4 billion in federal funds (PDF), a figure that could have been higher. Approximately 18.9% of Mainers (PDF) did not self-respond to the 2010 Census, contributing to an undercounting of about 8,500 people. As of May 16, Maine’s 2020 Census self-response rate was only 49.7%. Higher self-response rates mean the count is more likely to be accurate, giving the state a better chance of receiving the federal funding it needs.
This year marks the first time the census can be completed online, a plan that was already in place before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The questionnaire can also be completed over the phone or by mail. Stay-at-home orders in nearly every state has led to a number of changes in the census process, which is supposed to include visits by census takers beginning in May to homes that have not yet completed the questionnaire. By law, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, their homes, or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies. Find more information about the census from the U.S. Census Bureau or from the Maine State Data Center.
- Watch and share this video from Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition.
- Make social media posts encouraging friends and family to complete the 2020 Census. You can use the graphics below in your posts and use these hashtags: #CountMeIn #Census2020, and #EveryOneCounts.