Hoosiers counting to 2020

Carol O. Rogers

The state of Indiana and local communities are already gearing up for Census 2020.

It would take about 20 minutes to count from 1 to 2,020.  And we suspect Hoosiers can count at least that fast if not faster.  But that isn’t actually what our headline means (and yes, we wanted to get your attention).

Hoosiers, right now at this very minute, are preparing all over the state to ensure their communities unite in April 2020 to be counted—on the Census.  It’s short, simple and fast.

While the U.S. Census Bureau is the department doing the actual counting, states and local communities are helping by participating in a whole host of technical programs, such as ensuring the completeness and accuracy of the address list the Bureau will use—because first you need to know where to mail the forms. The State of Indiana participated in the Local Update of Census Addresses last year, submitting more than 200,000 new addresses or changes for those parts of the state where the county or city did not participate. 

In addition, the Governor recently announced the formation of the State of Indiana Complete Count Committee chaired by Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, which had its inaugural meeting on August 19. Dozens of communities throughout Indiana are also creating Complete Count Committees to help amplify the messages of the U.S. Census Bureau.  These efforts will be very important so that we can build and enhance trust in what is one of the most important civic duties we engage in.

The rationale

Why count everyone? There was a compelling reason the founding fathers made the census a constitutional mandate: representation in the United States Congress. Since the first census count was conducted in 1790, most people living in America have told the federal government how many people live in their house, with decade-by-decade additions and subtractions of questions.

Next spring, we will all receive a very short census form, one with just 10 questions on it. We will be asked the basics, things that anyone passing our home on a summer day would notice about us. And nothing near like the information we probably transmit via social media or through our internet search history every day!

If everyone fills out the form online or mails it back quickly, we can accomplish two things:

  1. Get a better count.
  2. Save our tax dollars by not spending lots of money following up on folks who don’t respond.

A good count is also good for all Hoosiers. It will ensure we get proper representation in Congress and that we get our fair share of federal funding for schools, hospitals, streets, roads and highways, housing, water and sewage systems, and numerous other programs.

50 ways graphic

More information about how the Census is working in Indiana is available at www.census.indiana.edu.

For more information, please email census@indiana.edu or contact Carol O. Rogers, the State’s census liaison at rogersc@iu.edu.