United Way of Southwest Alabama / Uncategorized  / Census – Get the Facts

Census – Get the Facts

The 2020 Census provides a snapshot of our nation – who we are, where we live, and so much more. Your response matters. Health clinics, fire departments, schools, even roads and highways are some of the aspects of our community the 2020 Census can shape.

  • Census results can determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into Alabama and our community each year.
  • Census results determine how many seats in Congress Alabama will get.
  • The Census is mandated by the US Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The US has counted its population every ten years since 1970. 

SOURCE: US Census 2020

The 2020 Census provides a snapshot of our nation – who we are, where we live, and so much more.


As of April 16, the response rate nationwide is 49.8%. In Alabama 48.9%. In Choctaw County 43.8%. In Clarke County 44.1%. In Mobile County 47.9%. In Washington County 32.7%.

Shape your future, click here to complete your 2020 Census questionnaire


1790 was the first US census. The original 13 states; the districts of Kentucky, Maine and Vermont and the Southwest Territory (what would become Tennessee). Under the direction of the the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, 650 US marshals and assistants traveled the countryside on foot or horseback to record  census answers on the forms made of  parchment and animal skins. According to the 1790 Census, the US population was 3,929, 314. As a result the 65 congressional representatives jumped from 65 to 105. 


Over the next 10 years, lawmakers, business owners, and may others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. Decisions about  where to build new schools, new clinics, or new road and where to add services for families, older adults, and children. Each year, Census date informs federal funding for more than 100 programs. Programs to support rural areas, restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, prepare for disasters, and provide housing to vulnerable populations. 


The Census Bureau includes every person living in the US – regardless of citizenship or immigration status. Residents are counted a the address where they usually live and sleep.


SOURCE: Alabama Counts 2020 Census 

Alabama Counts is Alabama is divided into eight subcommittees designed to reach all areas of Alabama: Government, Education, Faith-based Groups, Community-based groups, Economic Development/Industry, Health Care, Rural, and Outreach.

Obligation for Alabama by the numbers (fiscal year 2015):

  • Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid) $2,903,353.053,
  • Medicare Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance) – Physician Fee Schedule Services $1,100,137,184
  • Highway Planning & Construction $755,420,046
  • Title 1 Grans to Local Education Agencies $221,884,171
  • National School Lunch Program $210,937,195
  • Head Start / Early Head Start $131,948,138
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) $1,341,906,577
  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers $188,563,000
  • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Program (Project-based) $101,312,400
  • Special Education Grants $172,297,077
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) $113,297,077
  • Health Center Programs $77,783,463
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance $ 44,434,606
  • Child Care and Development Fund – Entitlement $42,008,000
  • Foster Care (Title IV-E) $29,319,000


The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential. Every employee takes an oath to protect personal information from respondents for life. Under Title 13 no identifiable information about you, your home, or your business may be released. Violating Title 13 is a federal crime punishable by prison and/or a fine up $250,000. All valid census website will have “.gov” at the end. 

The US Census Bureau will never:

  • send unsolicited emails requesting you participate,
  • ask for your social security number
  • ask for your bank account of credit card numbers,
  • ask anything on behalf of a political party, or
  • for money or donations.  

If someone visits your home to collect a 2020 Census response, you can verify their identity. Check to make sure they have a valid ID badge, with their photograph, US Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date. To verify their identity or if you suspect fraud, by calling 844.330.2020 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.

If you have a question about the census, hear or see false information about the 2020 Census, contact


The 2020 Census is underway. Online, phone, and mailed self-responses will continue throughout the data collecting process. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the US Census Bureau has adjusted the Census operations in order to protect the health and safety of the public and the census workers, implement guidance at all levels, and ensure a complete and accurate count.

Under the new operational plan:

  • Self-Response Phase – March 12 to October 31, 2020
  • E-Response & Paper Enumeration – April 2 to September 3, 2020
  • Field Offices at Peak Operations – June 1, 2020
  • Census invitation and paper questionnaires delivered – June 13 to July 9, 2020
  • Interview period – June 14 – July 29, 2020
  • Nonresponse Followup – August 11 to October 31, 2020
  • Service Based Count – TBD
  • Count unsheltered homeless – TBD
  • Review and finalize the count – October 31, 2020 to April 30, 2021
  • Process Redistricting Data – May 1 to July 31, 2021
    • Deliver count to President – April 30, 2021
    • President delivers the counts to Congress – Within 14 days of receipt.
    • Redistricting count to states – July 31, 2021


Your voice can make a difference. You can inspire others to participate. Tell them that you have completed your 2020 Census and so should they. Share interesting facts. Download images and graphics to share on your social media networks.