Census 2020: It’s Time to Be Counted
No matter who you are, it is vital for your family, friends, neighbors, schools and much more that you stand up and be counted in 2020.
The United States Constitution requires our government to conduct a complete count of the nation’s population every 10 years. However, many people do not realize just how important the census is for their community.
Beginning in March, residents of Giles County will be asked to respond to a letter they will receive from the U.S. Census Bureau by mail. Each person’s response is important because more than $675 billion is returned to local communities each year based on census data. These funds support services everyone uses including transportation, health care, education, communication, public safety and other resources essential to you, your family, your friends and your neighbors.
“With the Census happening only once every 10 years, it is vitally important we get every person residing in Giles County counted,” Giles County Executive Melissa Greene said. “Many of our grant opportunities require information about our population. Showing growth gives us an advantage over other counties competing for those same federal and state dollars.”
In 2018, the George Washington University Institute of Public Policy estimated that each person not counted costs the state of Tennessee $1,091. Taking just a few minutes to be counted in the 2020 Census gives everyone living in Giles County a chance to work together for the benefit of each other.
“The 2020 Census will show that the City of Pulaski is growing,” Pulaski City Administrator Terry Harrison said. “That’s important to all citizens for numerous reasons. Recently, the City of Pulaski resurfaced several streets within our corporate limits. TDOT allocated a portion of the motor fuel tax based on population. Also, new retail businesses use census information to help them determine where they might desire to expand. They look at a growing population and the median income of cities.”
Being counted in the 2020 Census is an opportunity for each person to be involved in helping Giles County’s economy grow, Greene noted.
“I am often asked by the public ‘what can we do to attract more restaurant and retail development to Giles County?’” she said. “Filling out your Census is something everyone can do to help promote growth for the County.”
It’s Easy, Confidential
Everyone can begin responding to the census in Mid-March when most households will receive a letter from the U.S. Census Bureau inviting them to respond to the 2020 census. Being counted is easy and confidential.
For the first time ever, people have the option of responding to the census online using either their mobile device or a computer. Of course, you can still respond by phone, mail or when a census-taker comes to your door.
“The Census is totally confidential — responses are kept private for 72 years and only the statistical information is used,” said Giles County Commissioner Erin Curry, who chairs Giles County’s Census Complete Count Committee. “The census staff takes a lifetime oath to protect the information and a violation could mean a penalty of $250,000 and/or up to five years in prison.”
It is also important to know that the Census Bureau will not contact anyone by email. Anyone who receives an email about the census should delete it — do not respond.
Also, the census will not ask for full social security numbers or for any financial information such as banking or credit information. The census is only conducted on a secure online system which uses the most advanced security measures available.
“I think the census is vitally important to a rural community like ours,” Curry said. “We need all the funding we can get for education and an accurate count may help us attract new restaurants and businesses, which is something we’re always wishing for in Giles County.”
Curry said more information on Giles County Census 2020 events and assistance filling out the census will be released in coming weeks.
“It is extremely important to have all segments of our population counted,” Harrison said. “Fill out your census information when it’s mailed to your address. If you do not receive a mailed census document, please call my office at 931-363-2516 and we will notify the census personnel to assure you are counted.”
—Giles County Census Complete Count Committee