April 1 count will drive federal funding for next decade
Henrico County is encouraging all residents to participate in the upcoming national census – the decennial count of every person living in the United States.
The 2020 Census will be the first census conducted primarily online, and responses are required to be kept confidential under federal law. It will ask for basic information about individuals and households, such as names, dates of birth and race; it will not ask about citizenship or immigration status.
The census will have a major impact on Henrico and other localities and states because it will drive about $675 billion in federal funding for programs and services — such as housing programs, highway planning and construction, economic development grants, medical assistance, free and low-cost school lunches, educational and welfare programs and more.
For each person living in Henrico who is not counted, the county will lose an estimated $20,000 over the next decade, officials said.
“That’s why participation is so critical,” Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas said. “The census directly affects programs and services that are vital to our residents’ and our community’s success and well-being. It takes only a few minutes to complete the questionnaire and be counted, but the benefits will be felt for the next decade.”
In addition, census data will be used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and adjust political district boundaries to ensure residents have equal representation in their state and local governments.
The Board of Supervisors established a 2020 Census Complete Count Committee, with a cross section of community members, to facilitate a full and accurate count. Henrico is using #HenricoCounts as a hashtag on social media and is distributing promotional bracelets with census messages in English, Spanish, Dari and Farsi.
April 1 is Census Day
The census will capture a statistical snapshot of the country and all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories on April 1. It will identify who’s here and where they’re living.
Beginning March 12, the U.S. Census Bureau will mail instructions on how to participate in the 2020 Census. Households will receive a postcard with a code for their address that can be used to fill out the online questionnaire.
Census staff will follow up in person if households have not completed the form by May.
Henrico has scheduled a series of information sessions on the 2020 Census in coordination with the Census Bureau:
- Wednesday, Feb. 26, noon at Libbie Mill Library, 2100 Libbie Lake East St.
- Saturday, Feb. 29, noon at Fairfield Area Library, 1401 N. Laburnum Ave.
- Tuesday, March 3, 7 p.m. at Tuckahoe Area Library, 1901 Starling Drive
- Saturday, March 7, noon at Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road