What is the census?
The census happens every 10 years and is mandated by the Constitution. The census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, a nonpartisan government agency. The census is used to determine distribution of federal resources to each state. Census data is also used to guide decision making for:
- Where schools, libraries, fire stations, and other public services are located
- Allocation of resources for Medicaid, SNAP, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, Head Start, and Highway Planning and Construction for the state of South Carolina.
- How many seats are allocated to each state in the US House of Representatives. After the 2010 census, SC gained an additional seat to represent our growing population.
- Data collected during the decennial census is mandated to confidential protection for 72 years. This means data cannot be used to impact any federal benefits a person receives.
If you are filling out the census for your home, you should count everyone who is living there as of April 1, 2020. This includes anyone who is living and sleeping there most of the time. If someone is staying in your home on April 1, and has no usual home elsewhere, you should count them in your response to the 2020 Census. Any child born by April 1, 2020 should be counted in the census.
How do I count?
By April 1, 2020, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You will have three options for responding:
- By phone.
- By mail.
How much do I matter?
We only get one chance every ten years to count each and every community member. If 100 people in your community aren’t counted, that represents more than $2.6M in federal resources that will be sent to other states instead of South Carolina over the course of the decade. We want everyone to count – one time – and in the right place!
The SC Grantmaker’s Network in collaboration with the United Way Association of South Carolina and TogetherSC has put together more than $400,000 in private resources to support efforts for a complete count in South Carolina for the 2020 Census. To date, the State of South Carolina has not invested in the decennial census.
How We Help:
The UWASC offers the following resources to the community:
- Minigrants to support the execution of Community Action Plans targeting specific census tracts or hard to count populations
- Support with training and facilitation to develop a Community Action Plan to engage specific census tracts or hard to count populations
- Shared digital, print, and informational resources