April 1st, 2020 was officially Census Day this year and I have to admit, I rather lost track of the census myself what with COVID-19 dominating the news cycle. But the census is an important use of your time, perhaps even more so because of the impacts of COVID-19.
Tough days lie ahead for all of us, and we’re already feeling the economic impact of COVID-19 in Mesa County. Many Coloradans will be accessing public programs in the coming years, and we will need an accurate census count in order to ensure that those programs will be properly funded. But often the people who could benefit the most from those public programs are the same group of people who are undercounted in the census. I’m talking about children under the age of 5.
For every baby, child, and adult who is counted during the census the state of Colorado will gain approximately $2,300 in federal funding. But if children aren’t counted during the census that means there is less money going to crucial programs that children benefit from. Some of these programs include libraries, schools, food assistance, childcare, and children’s health insurance. If children aren’t counted, these programs which receive federal funds won’t be able to provide the necessary level of support for Colorado’s children for the next 10 years.
But what if you’re not sure how to count your child in the census? What if your child doesn’t live with you full time? What if your family is living in someone else’s home during the census? What if you have children living with you who aren’t related to you? If you have questions on how to count children, we recommend you read more here: 2020 Census: Counting Young Children. If you’re still not sure, feel free to contact the library at email@example.com . We have staff at the library who are prepared to answer your census questions.
The census takes an average of 15 minutes to complete, and this year you can complete it online, by mail, or over the phone.