2020 Census Information
***Important Note: When filling out your form, many of you may see that "Roanoke" appears when you type in your address. Not to worry, as long as your house number, street name, and zip code are accurate, you’ll be counted as a Westlake resident!
What is the 2020 Census and Why is it Important?
The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories once every 10 years. The 2020 Census will mark the 24th time that the country has counted its population since 1790. The count is mandated by the Constitution and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency.
In mid-March, homes in the Town of Westlake and across the country will receive an invitation to complete the 2020 Census by phone, by mail, or online. When you respond to the census, you help Westlake get its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.
Businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, and this creates jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments like Westlake use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
The results of the census also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.
Who should respond, who should be counted, and where should you be counted?
One person, 15 years or older, should respond from each home. They should live in the home or place of residence themselves and know general information about each person living there.
You should be counted where you are living and sleeping most of the time as of April 1, 2020. If you are responding for your home, count everyone who lives and sleeps there most of the time as of April 1, 2020. This includes young children, foster children, roommates, and any family members or friends who are living with you, even temporarily.
People in some living situations—including students, service members, and people in health care facilities—may have questions about how to respond or where they should count themselves. You may also have questions if you are moving, have multiple residences, or have no permanent address.
How do you respond?
Homes should have received their invitation to respond to the 2020 Census between March 12-20. For the first time, you can choose to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail. Please note that if you are responding online, you must complete the census in one sitting, as you don’t have the ability to save your progress.
You can complete the census online or by phone in 13 different languages. In addition, bilingual invitations and paper questionnaires in English and Spanish will be sent to select areas of the country. To help you respond, the Census Bureau also offers webpages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in Braille and large print.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the 2020 Census
The U.S. Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will follow the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities. We have also established the Census Bureau COVID-19 Internal Task Force to continuously monitor the situation and update our Pandemic Addendum to the Census Bureau Continuity of Operations (COOP) Plan.
Earlier this week, in support of guidance on what we can all do to help slow the spread of the Coronavirus, 2020 Census field operations have been suspended until April 1, 2020. The Census Bureau is taking this step to help protect the health and safety of the American public, Census Bureau employees, and everyone going through the hiring process for temporary census taker positions.
During this pause in field operations, the Census Bureau will continue to evaluate all 2020 Census operations. Should any additional adjustments need to be made, the Census Bureau will communicate these changes broadly and promptly.
In late May, census takers around the nation will begin visiting households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census to help complete the count. As we continue to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation, we will adjust census takers and survey operations as necessary in order to follow the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.
If you’d like more information about the Census, from a sample questionnaire to important dates to how your personal information is protected, refer to the links on the left side of this page. You’ll find a wide range of useful resources to help you navigate through the process and to better understand the importance of taking the Census.
It has never been easier to respond to the census, and the 2020 Census will count everyone accurately. We recognize that many people plan to access the 2020 Census through other response modes, such as phone or paper, which is why the 2020 Census has such a nimble design.
On March 15, 2020, the Census Bureau announced several adaptations to our group quarters operations to accommodate recent scheduling changes on college campuses as leadership takes action to keep students and faculty safe.
For all other Census Bureau household and economic surveys separate from the 2020 Decennial Census, Bureau personnel will begin using phone calls instead of in-person visits. In the limited number of instances where an in-person visit is necessary, we are working closely with public health authorities to ensure each visit is accomplished safely.
Once again, we encourage everyone to respond online today at 2020Census.gov. With the flexibility and support of the American people, and you, Westlake residents, we will achieve a complete and accurate count which helps guide funding decisions for things like hospitals, roads, and emergency services. Respondents can also respond by calling the number provided in their invitation or by mail once they have received a paper form.