One year from today, the U.S. will conduct its nationwide count of every man, woman and child in the 10-year census. And for the first time, you can respond online and in one of a dozen languages other than English.
This census also will give people more detailed options when answering the question of race.
The massive outreach effort is estimated to influence some $675 billion in federal dollars by helping decide where to build roads, schools and health clinics. It also can impact the number of congressional and electoral college seats each area receives.
People living inside the United States next April 1 are required by law to respond to the census, which is mandated by the Constitution, although prosecutions or fines are mostly unheard of.
“Our mission is to count everyone living in the United States – once and only once, and in the right place,” said Steven Dillingham, director of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Officials said Monday that an effort is underway to hire census takers and to collaborate with local communities to ensure accuracy of the count. But in addition to census takers who will go door-to-door, the decennial census count also is going digital for the first time by allowing online responses. People will also have the option of calling a 1-800 number or returning their paper questionnaire via mail. The U.S. Census Bureau says it is taking extra precautionary measures to ensure the data is protected online.
The U.S. Census is hiring people in temporary positions across the country. To be eligible, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number, and be a U.S. citizen. Census taker jobs in our area (southern Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri) pay $14.00/ per hour.