Encourage EVERYONE to Complete the 2020 Census

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Staff Image

So you’ve completed the Census…what’s next? Time to encourage others to do the same! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Call or text family, friends, neighbors and/or colleagues to share a few reasons why a complete count is so vital to the state and beyond. Share some examples that are important to you on how those funds are used, and then circle back to let them know the different ways to complete the Census.
  • Get creative! Make signs for your windows and doors that promote the Census. Decorate blank t-shirts or hats with the PA Census logo. Similar to the COVID-19 Teddy Bear Hunt, work with neighbors to post ‘clues’ in a visible place that passersby will notice (could be the #BeCounted2020 hashtag or a brief Census fact).
  • Use the Census Social Media Toolkit on your personal, or if possible, professional virtual pages. Create a contest or challenge for friends or colleagues to ‘sign up’ the most people in their circles (similar to a fundraising strategy) with small prizes as incentives provided after the quarantine.
  • Are you curious about how many people in your community are responding to the 2020 Census? Stay up-to-date with a map of self-response rates from across the United States (see example below):

Now more than ever it is essential that our country has a complete count for the decennial census. Echoing our #BeCounted2020 blog post: “In sudden emergencies, like a global pandemic for instance, emergency federal funds can be released to support hospitals and medical facilities. The amount of money allocated to a city or county can be determined using Census population data, ensuring there are enough funds to support the population in a crisis.”

Census data is used to decide how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Pennsylvania gets $26.8 billion annually from just our 16 largest federally-funded programs. That’s about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year.

These numbers may change depending on our 2020 Census count.  Essential funding for our community is at stake – missing a family of five in the count is equal to a loss of $100,000 in resources to our community. Your participation matters. The Census impacts our funding for essential services and community supports including healthcare, housing, food, libraries, education, and roads. Being counted provides a decade of necessary resources for our community.

Use your voice, online presence and trusted connections to talk about why the Census matters to so many people throughout our state. Do you know someone that is currently on Medicare? What about a family member applying for Federal Pell Grants? Do you travel on the highway or ride the bus to work? Are your children taking part in the school breakfast programs? Do you or your neighbors rely on Section 8 Housing Assistance?

These examples and so many more depend on accurate Census data to determine how much in federal funding will go into supporting these programs and services.

For more ways to encourage others to stand up and be counted, visit www.pa.gov/census.

#BeCounted2020

The Census and You