The next United States Census takes place in 2020, and the response of Stafford’s citizens is critical for the success of the Census as well as future planning in Stafford. The Census determines Stafford County’s official population and helps predict its population. These numbers are used to draw school and voting districts and to plan for the infrastructure and personnel needed to serve a growing community. Every home in America will receive an invitation to complete the Census by April 1, 2020. Stafford asks all citizens to respond to this critical tool for helping to plan the community.
“The numbers provided by the Census are used in almost every aspect of the the planning and analysis we do for the future of Stafford County,” said Board of Supervisor Chairman Gary Snellings. “We use those numbers to make sure we can meet the current and future demand for schools, water, infrastructure planning, neighborhood planning, public safety and other government services. Plus, businesses make decisions on where to locate based on the numbers of the population. We thank the citizens in advance for their assistance.”
Census data is collected every 10 years and is mandated by Article I, Section 2, of the United States Constitution. The US Census Bureau will begin its public campaign in January 2020 and the goal is to count all citizens by April 1. Citizens may respond to the Census in three different ways: online, by phone, or by mail. All responses are confidential. The completed count will be delivered to the President and Congress by December 2020.
What kinds of questions will be asked of you?
- How many people live in your home?
- Do you own or rent your home?
- What are the ages and sexes of those who live in your home?
- Race, ethnicity?
- What are the relationships between the residents?
Why is the Census important to Stafford County?
- It ensures fair representation in the United States Congress by using the population numbers to determine the number of seats for each state.
- State officials use the data to redraw the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.
- Stafford’s Board of Supervisors uses the data to draw local voting districts.
- The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and supports to states, counties and communities is based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.
- Stafford uses the money to plan the location of future neighborhoods, to determine needed infrastructure and to plan for schools, firehouses, numbers of public safety personnel and much more.
- Businesses use the information to decide where to put a store, office or plant, actions integral to creating jobs and supporting Stafford’s economy.
Residents may earn extra income by assisting with the 2020 Census. The U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting thousands of people across the country to assist the 2020 Census count. For more information on working with the Census, visit www.2020census.gov/en/jobs. For more information on the Census itself and its importance to Stafford County, visit www.staffordcountyva.gov/census.