The 2020 census is here! The census is a once in a decade opportunity to count every person—adults, children, and babies—living in the United States. The population data gathered during the census count is used for everything from funding allocations for critical programs that serve kids and families to drawing voting districts and planning locations for new schools, hospitals, and retail centers.

Most children benefit from at least one of the hundreds of federal programs that rely on census data to determine funding amounts. However, children are the most likely to not be counted on their household’s census form, especially young children under age five. In 2010, it’s estimated that over 12,500 young Kentucky children were not counted – a mistake that cost the Commonwealth an estimated $12 million per year over the last 10 years in funding for just five federally funded programs.

On Wednesday, March 18th, we’re celebrating Count All Kids Day, a day of activation for advocates and child-serving organizations across the country to make sure families and guardians know that they need to count all babies and children in the 2020 census. By that date, most households will have received their first invitation to respond to the census.

We all can play an important role in ensuring EVERY CHILD in EVERY COUNTY is counted! It is especially important to share this information as schools, libraries, child care centers, and other family-serving and community centers are closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parents and caregivers:

  • Respond to the 2020 census online (my2020census.gov), by phone, or by mail and be sure to count everyone living in your home on April 1 – it will only take 10 minutes.
  • Count all babies and children in your household, even if they are not related to you or the living situation isn’t permanent, so your local programs will get more funding to serve children today and over the next decade.
  • Sign up for reminders about the census by texting PLEDGE to 211-211.

Social service providers:

  • Review and share materials from Sesame Street and Nickelodeon with families to encourage a complete count of all children.
  • Where possible, make it easy for families to participate by providing access to a phone or internet-connected device so they can complete the questionnaire.
  • Share these important dates with the communities you serve so that families understand response deadlines:
    • MARCH 12-20: Everyone will receive a letter inviting them to take the census online or by phone. Some households will also receive a paper questionnaire.
    • MARCH 16-24: Everyone will receive a reminder letter.
    • APRIL 1: Census Day – be sure to include everyone living in your home on this day.
    • MARCH 26-APRIL 16: If you haven’t responded, you will continue to receive reminders in the mail, as well as the paper form.
    • APRIL 20-27: If you haven’t responded, you will receive a final reminder postcard before an in-person visit to your address.
    • MAY – AUGUST: Census takers will begin visiting homes that haven’t responded to the 2020 census to help make sure everyone is counted.

Concerned community members:

  • Participate in the Count All Kids Day social media promotion on March 18th.
  • Continue to promote 2020 census messages until Census Day (April 1) and through August to ensure every household has responded.
  • Review and share countmeinky.com for more information about the 2020 census count in Kentucky.