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5 thoughts I had while filling out the 2020 Census

Happy Census Day!

A person at the computer
A person at the computer (Vojtech Okenka/Pexels photo)

Anyone else bored around the house?

Cool. You’re doing your civic duty in this strange time of quarantine, and that’s what counts! Why not take a minute to fill out your Census form, while you have some down time?

Editor’s note: I completed mine earlier this month and thought I’d jot down a few observations, just in case anyone was feeling like it was a process or this was too much like “homework.” I promise it’s not!


1.) If you’re computer-savvy and you want to fill out your questionnaire online, it’ll only take you 3 to 5 minutes.

Of course, this will depend on how many people are in your household. If you’re the mom from “19 Kids and Counting,” then Michelle Duggar, my sincere apologies: this note is NOT for you.

But for anyone else: Open your form. Find the online code you received in the mail. (You don’t even need it as a requirement; it just helps you skip a few steps). Start typing in your information. You can honestly do this while you’re making dinner or binge-watching “Cheer” on Netflix. Sure, I didn’t have any unusual circumstances and I work on a laptop all day, so maybe it was extra easy for me. But really -- just know that it could not be more intuitive or quicker. They’re not here to trip you up!

2.) Submitting online really is the best.

Type in that code and you’re off!

If for whatever reason you’re not comfortable with this, there are other ways to submit your responses. But we say just be done with the thing -- here’s the website to fill it out digitally: https://my2020census.gov/

Just hit that “Start Questionnaire” button. And then if, for whatever reason, you can’t find your 12-digit Census ID, that’s perfectly fine, too. Click or tap here and you can still submit your form online.

3.) Considering the coronavirus, you truly have NO excuse.

Too busy? You weren’t home much this month? You didn’t get your mail? Nope, nope and nope. All your excuses are off the table. Just do it! The count matters for SO much. Responding helps shape resources for children and your community over the next decade. Be a good citizen. Do your part.

4.) You do have to answer a race question.

It was no big deal, I just don’t remember filling out my form last time and this surprised me for a sec.

I was a little curious about why race mattered, so I looked it up. And look, I found this helpful explainer from the Census. They’ll actually tell you why each question matters, or why they’re inquiring. For example ...

Why we ask this question: This allows us to create statistics about race and to analyze other statistics within racial groups. This data helps federal agencies monitor compliance with anti-discrimination provisions, such as those in the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act.”

Very transparent, don’t you think?

5.) The thing is fail-proof.

Believe me when I say you won’t goof it up.

Check this item off your to-do list today. You’ll feel a great sense of accomplishment once you’re done.

After all, we only have to do this once a decade. Anyone can spare 5 minutes, right?


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