Every 10 years, the U.S. government embarks on the herculean task of counting every person in the country. An accurate decennial census count is important in order to allocate more than $675 billion in federal funds annually for community programs and services, such as healthcare services for the elderly, education programs, housing and community development, and job training. For example, in federal Fiscal Year 2016, Hawai‘i received over $3.6 billion from 55 different federal programs, including nearly $1.5 billion in Medicaid funding.
Starting in March 2020, people will receive postcards alerting them that the census will begin on April 1, Census Day. Unlike past census events, the 2020 census may be completed online. Between March 12 and 20, the majority of people will receive a letter advising them that they may complete the census survey online. However, about 20 to 25 percent of the population will still receive a paper survey due to demographic characteristics and internet connectivity in their area.
The 2020 census general questions will be:
How many people were living or staying in this house, apartment or mobile home on April 1, 2020?
Were there any additional people staying here on April 1, 2020 that you did not include in Question 1?
Is this a house, apartment or mobile home?
What is your telephone number?
Please provide information for each person living here. If there is someone living here who pays the rent or owns this residence, start by listing him or her as Person 1. If the owner or the person who pays the rent does not live here, start by listing any adult living here as Person 1.
- Name, Sex, Age
- Is Person 1 of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin?
- What is Person 1’s race?
It will not contain a citizenship question.
If you are not able to complete the census by April 1, you will get several reminder mailings through April. Thereafter, through August, census enumerators will conduct door-todoor interviews to collect information from those who have not completed the questionnaire.
The decennial census is a huge endeavor to ensure a fair, accurate and complete count. The U.S. Census Bureau is looking to hire enumerators and other positions throughout Hawai‘i. Consider being a census worker. Applicants must: 1) have a valid email address; 2) be a U.S. citizen; 3) be 18 years of age or older. Apply now at www.2020census.gov/jobs.