Late last week, a federal judge in California reversed an earlier decision to end the census count on September 30 and has reset the deadline for Americans to complete the 2020 Census to Saturday, October 31. This court reversal also restores the original date for the US Census Bureau’s final report to Congress from December 31, 2020 to April of 2021.
According to a number of experts, the decision to extend census taking through the end of October is critical to the representation of rural areas, immigrant populations, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities, which are historically at increased risk of being undercounted (a trend only exacerbated by the current coronavirus pandemic).
Why is this so important? “The US Constitution requires a count (census) of all people living in the United States every 10 years,” explains the statewide consortium We Count Minnesota, “A complete, accurate census count is necessary for equal political representation, fair distribution of federal and state funding, and sound planning and investment in infrastructure, real estate, business development and public policy.”
Currently, Minnesota ranks number one (out of all 50 states) in its response to the 2020 Census, with more than 3 out of 4 state residents having already been counted. But there is more work to be done. Although census takers may continue to visit Minnesota households in person (while practicing COVID-19 safety protocols), you are NOT required to open your door to them and residents can still complete the 2020 Census in one of three additional ways through October 31, including:
- By telephone at 800-330-2020
- Online at 2020census.gov
- Or by mail (all US households were mailed census questionnaires in March 2020)
And, for more information on the 2020 Census, please visit https://mn.gov/admin/2020-census/.