Ask Arlington: What to Know About the 2020 Census
By Office of Communication
Posted on January 15, 2020, January 15, 2020


This March, you will receive an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census. And while it's true the Census is used to track population trends, your answers also affect everything from education budgets to public safety.

City of Arlington Senior Planner Sarah Stubblefield is leading the City's efforts to make sure everyone is counted in Arlington. Stubblefield joined host Jay Warren on the latest episode of Ask Arlington to answer your questions and explain why an accurate count is so important. 

Why is the Census important, and why is the City involved?

"It comes down to money and power," Stubblefield explained. "The federal dollars that come into Arlington, a lot of it is dependent on the Census data." The City has formed a citizen-led Complete Count Committee to engage residents through community outreach.

Texas is also projected to gain as many as three U.S. House seats after the 2020 Census but only if there is an accurate count.

The Census has been conducted every ten years since 1790. What's new this year?

The world has become incredibly high-tech, even since the last Census in 2010. The U.S. government is now using technology to build address files and identify growth areas. Census Bureau employees will also trade their bulky binders for tablets.

But the biggest change is about you. For the first time, residents will be able to respond to the Census online. Your answers will go directly into a secure database. You can also respond over the phone or through the mail.  

There's been some controversy about a potential citizenship question. Do Arlington residents have anything to worry about when responding to the Census?

No. The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the citizenship question from being on the 2020 form. And your responses are safe. The government has been working to encrypt all data on the Census website. And Census workers know they will face fines and jail time if they do not protect your information.

When can residents expect to see information about the Census in their mailbox?

The first invitation to respond will be sent out March 12, 2020. You will receive a postcard or information packet. Some residents will also receive forms in both English and Spanish.

"If you don't get it exactly how you thought it would come, don't be afraid." Stubblefield said. "They're doing it multiple ways to target all of the audiences in the most comfortable way for people to respond."

Click here to learn more about the 2020 Census — because Everyone Counts in Arlington. 

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