The deadline for U.S. citizens to fill out the 2020 census has been extended to Oct. 31.
The new timeline hopes to account for delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, the self-response deadline was July 31.
To date, the census has been completed by 62.6% of Pasco County households, 62.4% of Pinellas County households, and 60.5% of Hillsborough County households. The Florida average is currently 59.0%.
The census helps determine the amount of federal funds allotted to each state. In the 2010 census, for every person uncounted, Florida lost $946 in federal funding. That’s about $20 billion in total losses.
The lost funds would have provided more citizens with access to federal programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as funding for community staples like libraries and functioning highways.
The census also determines the number of representatives in each Congressional district. Based on reports by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019, Florida is on track to gain two more representatives in the House. As Florida’s fastest-growing region, Central Florida may gain one of those representatives.
Citizens can complete the census online at my2020census.gov, over the phone, or by mail. This is the nation’s first digital census.
The census does not ask for Social Security Numbers or citizenship status. Questions include your name, address, and how many people were living on your household as of Census Day: April 1, 2020. The US Census Bureau cannot release your information to the public in any way that would identify you.
Completing the census is required by law. Refusal to fill out all or part of the census may result in a $100 fine. False answers can carry a fine of up to $500.
The nationwide population count is conducted by the US Census Bureau once every ten years. To learn more or to fill out the census, visit my2020census.gov.