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It’s Important for Military Families to Fill Out Census Forms

It’s Important for Military Families to Fill Out Census Forms

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For Kings County, active duty military at NAS Lemoore, veterans and their families are an important part of community life — whether they live on base, in nearby towns or are deployed or stationed overseas.

But military families may not realize just how important they are when it comes to the 2020 Census. They should know that the 2020 Census will have an impact on their communities’ political representation and billions of dollars in funding annually for the next 10 years.

State, local and federal officials will use data from the 2020 Census to determine funding for infrastructure and critical public services such as hospitals, schools, emergency response services and road maintenance and construction. All are services that military members, veterans and their families use while they live in a community. And it’s important that everyone is counted. The California Department of Finance estimates that the state and local communities miss out on $1,000 a year in federal funding for each person who is not counted.

Most service members and their families living in the United States received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in March and are responsible for responding to the census on their own. For the first time, people can respond to the census online, by phone or by mail. People will be counted where they live and sleep most of the time as of April 1, 2020 (Census Day). If you haven’t yet responded, remember to count everyone who lives in your household, including young children, newborns and any relatives or others.

If you were living in military barracks in the United States on April 1, 2020, a military point of contact, sworn to protect your privacy, SHOULD HAVE distributed individual questionnaires, collected them when complete and returned them to the Census Bureau. The same procedure applied if you are on a military vessel with a homeport in the United States.

You do not have to fill out a questionnaire if deployed or on a military vessel with a homeport outside the United States on Census Day. The DOD will provide the Census Bureau administrative data for you and family living with you overseas as of April 1.

The Census Bureau has clear guidance to help active duty military and veterans understand how to respond to the 2020 Census based on where they are on April 1, 2020. 

If you are active duty and:

  • Deployed outside the United States while stationed in the United States, the Census Bureau will use administrative data from DOD to count you at your usual residence in the United States. However, any family members living in the United States need to respond for themselves to a census questionnaire.
  • Staying in barracks or other on-base group quarters in the United States, the Census Bureau will work with a point of contact on your base to ensure you are counted. In most cases, the contact will ask you to fill out an individual census questionnaire.
  • Living in a household in the United States, you need to respond to a household census questionnaire and count everyone living there.

Be sure to count everyone in your household. And remember that responses to the 2020 Census are safe and secure. Federal law bars the Census Bureau from releasing personal census data to law enforcement, immigration agencies or other government agencies.

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