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Find all of Community Solutions' reports on Census 2020 below. Click on the title of each piece to read more and make sure to visit and fill out your 2020 census!

Research Associate Kate Warren explains why the census is important in light of the pandemic -- and also because of it.  

April 1, 2020 is Census Day. The federal government has been planning for this day, and the rollout of invitation that preceded it, for the past decade. But no one could have foreseen at the time that our government would undertake its decennial census at the exact moment of a public health crisis. In some ways, we’re more prepared for this than ever before. 2020 is the first year people can complete the census online, and with many people now at home due to government recommendations that they practice social distancing, going online to complete the form is a relatively simple and straightforward task. Learn more here.  

One of the most widely discussed topics on the decennial census are the questions on race, Hispanic origin and ancestry. This conversation is not new for 2020. In fact, the way that we classify people by race and ethnicity has changed frequently since the first census in 1790. The 2020 census questionnaire asks people to self-identify with one or more of the several races. Learn more here.  

The U.S. Constitution requires that the decennial census be used to allocate the number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives each state receives. For the past 50 years, the decennial census and reapportionment has meant a loss of congressional seats for Ohio. Learn more here.  

Getting a complete count in the U.S. Census is a huge undertaking, and part of that work involves hiring nearly 500,000 temporary employees to work as census takers throughout the country. Here in Cuyahoga County, census takers can expect to earn between $20.50-$22.50 per hour in part-time, temporary work (click here to learn what census jobs pay in your county). These jobs represent good opportunities for people to have a positive influence in their communities and temporarily bring in some additional income for their households. However, we know that sometimes working families are concerned with a “benefit cliff”- whereby earning additional income causes them to lose more in public benefits than they earn in additional income (click here to read more about the benefit cliff). Learn more here.  

The census – the constitutionally mandated effort by the government to count each person living on U.S. soil every 10 years - is one of this country’s original grassroots movements. It is a more significant undertaking than any campaign, or any get out the vote effort. Every 10 years, we try to count everyone. The results of that count impact apportionment –the process of dividing the congressional districts among the states. Census data is used in myriad ways, including informing the distribution of more than $675 billion per year into communities via important federal programs. Learn more here.  

For now, the citizenship question is off 2020 census forms. That’s good news for those of us, like The Center for Community Solutions, who want to see a complete and accurate count every 10 years. However, where we go from here is complicated. The Supreme Court sent the issue of whether a citizenship question will be included on the 2020 decennial census back to the lower courts for further consideration. The ruling is complex, with groups of justices joining some parts of the opinion penned by Chief Justice John Roberts, but dissenting on others.Learn more here.  

The research team at The Center for Community Solutions frequently fields questions about community conditions and our go-to source for information is data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Census data has all the qualities of a good friend: it is trustworthy, dependable, and interesting. Since policymakers, researchers and community leaders rely so heavily on Census data, we need that data to provide as fair and accurate a count as possible. Unfortunately, there are proposals circulating in Washington which would weaken the 2020 Census and the more extensive data the Census Bureau provides annually in its American Community Survey (ACS). The biggest threat comes from misguided recommendations to ask questions about legal immigrant status. Learn more here.  

As the days of social distancing continue to pass us by, so do the days that the U.S. Census Bureau has left to conduct a complete and accurate count of every person living in the United States. As with many other systems in our society, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in census plans, to say the least. Due to the pandemic, the timeline and deliverables of the 2020 Census operations have shifted considerably. Learn more here.  

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