Time is running out to get counted in the U.S. Census.
The U.S. Census Bureau announced it will be ending its counting efforts on Sept. 30 — a month earlier than initially planned. After that, the government will stop conducting door-to-door visits and accepting responses through other means.
That leaves a little more than four weeks left for Ohioans to get their census filled out. It can be completed online, over the phone or through the mail. Census takers are also visiting households that have not yet completed the census, and it can be completed during one of these visits.
- Mail — Households received a full questionnaire by mail in the spring. They include a return envelope with an address to a Census Bureau processing center in Jefferson, Indiana or Phoenix, Arizona. See more about mailing here.
- Online — Visit 2020census.gov to complete the census form online. The form must be completed in one sitting. You will receive a confirmation page to indicate you are finished.
- Phone — Americans are invited to call 844-330-2020 to complete the questionnaire by phone. There are other phone numbers available to respond in other languages besides English; a list is available online here.
- At your home — local residents are hired as census takers going door-to-door to get census responses. You can learn more about these visits here.
The census is conducted every 10 years and has a direct impact on citizens and their communities. Federal funding for programs such as Head Start, WIC, Meals-on-Wheels and road construction projects are based in part on Census data.
Congressional districts are also redrawn every 10 years, with states being allocated a number of districts based on their population size.
Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism. Read more Ohio Capital Journal stories here.