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How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond (click here for PDF).

About the Census!
The United States Constitution mandates a decennial census to count every person residing in the country. The census is designed and executed by the U.S. Census Bureau, with goals to distribute federal funding, draw legislative districts, and influence future development.

Most households will receive an invitation to fill out the census form online or by telephone sometime between March 12-20. The Census Bureau will send a reminder postcard in late March. Between April 8-16, all households who haven't yet filled out the census form will be sent a paper questionnaire. The Census Bureau will start a non-response follow-up (door to door) operation on May 13 (in areas with colleges as early as April 9).

Responding to the Census is easy, safe and important. The results impact how much money and representation we receive. Here is an explanation of how the Census results impact us locally.

Investment
Governments, businesses, and the nonprofit community to guide investment decisions use census data. In FY2016, New York received $73,300,580,954 through 55 federal spending programs, including for roads and bridges, public schools, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), the National School Lunch Program, Section 8 Housing, Head Start, and the Community Development Block Grants.

Challenges
Chemung County must have a complete and accurate census county to ensure competitiveness in public funding and private investment. If a resident is not counted, the County will still be responsible for providing services but will not receive due resources. There are four challenges that may present an obstacle to obtaining a full and accurate count:  

1. Large "Hard-to-Count" Population
In 2010, Chemung County had an 88.1% “mail return rate” was better than the hardest-to-count tracts nationwide, however, it required more costly and tedious follow up to count the remaining 11.9%. Hard-to-count groups include renters, children under five, immigration, and those with limited English proficiency.  

2. Funding Levels
On November 19, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State would spend as much as $60 million to make sure that every New Yorker is counted in the upcoming 2020 U.S. Census.  Together, New York State will launch a wide-reaching campaign valued at up to $40 million from existing resources that will inform the public about the Census and support efforts to encourage residents to complete the questionnaire. NYS has allocated $109,051 for Chemung County’s complete count campaign. County Planning is working with other agencies, not-for-profits, faith-based groups and other stakeholder groups on a Complete County committee.

3. Technological Advancement
The Census Bureau is aiming to invite 80% of households to submit their responses on the internet. This presents an obstacle to those who fear sharing their personal information online, and those without reliable access to broadband (low-income residents).

4. Citizenship Question
The Census Bureau has omitted the citizenship question in the 2020 Census questionnaire. For municipalities with high immigrant populations, this Supreme Court decision has mitigated suppressed response rates.