We busted 4 common myths about the 2020 census


Census 2 We busted 4 common myths about the 2020 census
Participation in the census is vital to Alabama’s upward mobility. Photo via U.S. Census Bureau on Facebook

If you haven’t heard, there’s a big event coming up in 2020. It affects your roads, your schools, and a whole lot more—but people still don’t really have all the right info. Jefferson County is helping us change that. Keep reading to learn the truth about the 2020 census.

Does it Really Matter?

Look, I totally get it. Filling out this government form may not make it to the top of your to-do list. In fact, just a few weeks ago, I had no idea why it mattered at all.

This is the first census that’s taken place since I’ve been a legal adult, so I’ve never really paid all that much attention to it. However, it actually matters a whole lot more than you probably realize.

There is a LOT of misinformation swirling around out there in regards to this subject. We went straight to the people with the answers to get the 5 most common census myths busted. Check out what Jefferson County officials had to say.

Myth #1

Census We busted 4 common myths about the 2020 census
The option to fill out the 2020 census online makes participation easier than ever. Photo via U.S. Census Bureau on Facebook

The Myth: Filling out the census online can compromise your personal information.

The Truth: When you respond to the census, your answers are kept anonymous. They are used only to produce statistics. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential.

Myth #2

Everything down to our roads could be affected by this. Photo via Jefferson County on Facebook

The Myth: The census doesn’t really matter all that much. If I don’t have time to fill it out, it’s not going to make a difference.

The Truth: The census is vital to the central Alabama community. While there has been a lot of talk in the news about losing congressional representation, there is a lot more at stake.

The census determines a huge portion of federal funding. That money goes to roads, transportation, funding for schools and healthcare, and more. If we are undercounted, we could be underfunded.

Myth #3

JeffCo Law Enforcement We busted 4 common myths about the 2020 census
Law enforcement has no connection to the census. Photo via Jefferson County Sherrif’s Office on Facebook

The Myth: Participating in the census can alert law enforcement to other legal issues such as outstanding tickets or residence issues.

The Truth: The information you provide for the census is absolutely not shared with any other law enforcement office. If you have an outstanding speeding ticket or owe child support, they are not going to come after you because you filled out your census form.

Myth #4

Miliary Census We busted 4 common myths about the 2020 census
Most military households are responsible for responding to the census on their own if they are stationed or living in the United States. Photo via U.S. Census Bureau on Facebook

The Myth: Filling out the census is too complicated in some situations. For example: shared custody, college students, military, etc.

The Truth: There’s a simple answer for every situation. If you’re unsure, you can visit the official census website for answers on how to fill out the form. Here are a few of the most common answers:

  • You count children where they are on April 1, 2020. So, if they split time evenly between two households, count them where they are on April 1, 2020.
  • If you have recently moved – count yourself at your new address if you have moved in by April 1.
  • If you are a college student count yourself at your off-campus address.
  • The government will have representatives that will count people in group living situations like college dorms, military barracks, nursing homes and shelters.

Be sure to stay tuned to Bham Now to learn all you need to know about the 2020 census.

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Beth Cunningham
Beth Cunningham

A Birmingham transplant who can usually be found hitting a new hiking trail or restaurant opening when she's not writing stories and snapping photos for Bham Now.

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