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2020 Census Coming Soon

Residents encouraged to respond early to ensure adequate funding for community services.

Post Date:02/20/2020 5:52 PM
Beginning in mid-March, the U.S. Census Bureau will invite households across the country to participate in the 2020 Census. The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States. The count is taken every ten years as mandated by the Constitution, and the results help to shape the future of every person in Arlington in a variety of ways. The results determine the number of seats Massachusetts receives in the House of Representatives and how our local precinct boundaries are drawn. The results also inform decisions about how hundreds of billions of dollars are allocated each year to communities across the nation for vital services like schools, healthcare, affordable housing, roads and bridges, and emergency response. 

It is critical that Arlington residents respond to the 2020 Census as early as possible, beginning in mid-March, when most households will receive invitations to complete the 2020 Census. People can choose to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. Responding online is the easiest and fastest way to complete the 2020 Census – and it is safe and secure to respond online. To assist residents who lack access to the internet, the Town will have dedicated kiosks for the census in the two branches of the Arlington Public Library and in the Senior Center. In May 2020, census takers will begin following up with households that haven’t responded on their own to ensure everyone is counted. 

The Town, through the Complete Count Working Group, is working to support the 2020 Census and encourage as many people as possible to respond quickly, and on their own, reducing the need for more costly in-person interviews. Arlington’s self-response rates have gone down over the past two censuses, from 82% in 2000 to 79% in 2010. “The Complete Count Working Group is working to raise awareness, educating people on the importance and confidentiality of the Census, and encouraging people to take the Census” said Jennifer Raitt, Director of Planning and Community Development. “Achieving a complete and accurate count can help ensure that Arlington receives its fair share of federal resources for the next ten years, including many of the existing resources we rely on for critical community programs.”

The 2020 Census will not ask questions about citizenship. Questions will include number of individuals in the household, whether the home is owned or rented, and the name, sex, age, origin, and race. One phone number will be requested in case the Census Bureau needs to follow up regarding an incomplete form. The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect your information, even from other branches of government. Your responses cannot be used against you and can only be used to produce statistics. 

To find out more about the 2020 Census, please visit 2020Census.gov or visit Arlington’s Complete Count Working Group website. If you have additional questions about the 2020 Census, please contact Kelly Lynema, Senior Planner at 781-316-3096 or klynema@town.arlington.ma.us
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