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Count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.
Once a decade, America comes together to count every resident in the United States. The Census counts our population and households, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
Why should I take the Census?
The Census determines how millions of dollars in federal funding will get distributed and we want Chesapeake to get all it deserves. For every person who does not take the Census, Chesapeake stands to lose out on $20,000 in federal funds over the next decade. The Census also determines our representation in Congress. It is vitally important for every single person living in Chesapeake to be counted! Here's a report showing the programs and amount of money allocated from the 2010 Census for Virginia. Additionally, the Chesapeake Complete Count Committee created a pamphlet with examples of local programs using Census apportioned funds.
Who should be counted?
You should count every person living in your home on April 1, 2020. This includes infants and grandparents, citizens and non-citizens, family members and non-family members. If someone is living in your home and therefore using City resources, they should be counted there. Have questions about how to count your college student, service member, etc.? Check the Census website for details.
When can I take the Census?
Households throughout Chesapeake will receive in the mail an invitation to take the Census in mid-March 2020. If you do not take the Census in March, you will be contacted by phone and, if necessary, in person by a U.S. Census worker visiting your home at some point in April.
How will I take the Census?
For the first time ever, you can take the Census online. You'll receive an invitation in the mail with directions on how to take the Census online for your household. If you do not have internet access, you can choose to visit your local library branch to use a computer there or you can call the Census Bureau to give your answers by phone. There will also be a paper Census option. Different languages are available.
Help us spread the word!
Because the Census is so important to our community, we're asking for your help in making sure everyone knows about the Census. Here are some outreach materials that you're welcome to share with groups you're involved with. Looking for information or materials that aren't here? Contact the Planning Department at 757-382-6176 or visit the Census website at www.2020Census.gov.
Difficult to Count
Community & Athletic Groups
Mayor West signed a proclamation on October 22nd, 2019, to commit to partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to help ensure a complete and accurate count in 2020. As mandated by the United States Constitution, the U.S. Census is conducted every 10 years. April 1, 2020 is Census Day although the Census forms open in March and will be complete in the Summer of 2020. Participation in the U.S. Census is important. The U.S. Census determines the apportionment of federal representatives and federal funds and grants to states, counties, and communities. Census 2020 will be the first time forms can be submitted electronically, allowing for easier participation. A report for Virginia details the programs and amount of money allocated from the 2010 Census. Additionally, the Chesapeake Complete Count Committee created a pamphlet with examples of local programs using Census apportioned funds. It is estimated the City loses $2000 per person per year for every resident that does not fill out their census form. That can total $20,000 per person over the ten years between each Census. Your responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law (En español). Your answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against you in any way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential. See the Chesapeake Census 2020 information sheet (En español) for important points regarding the upcoming Census, a SAMPLE Census questionnaire, and this news story by WCTV on Chesapeake's Census preparations.
January - March 2020 Awareness Phase
From January through March the U.S. Census Bureau, Commonwealth of Virginia, and City of Chesapeake will begin to air public service announcements on the television and radio to increase the awareness that the Census is coming very soon. Communications will increase reminding everyone of the importance of the Census and the various ways to respond. The City of Chesapeake will maintain relevant information on this website, relating to Census awareness, that trusted voices within the community can utilize to assist in these efforts. The purpose of this phase is to highlight the message that the 2020 Census is easy, important, and safe.
Complete Count Committee
Mayor West has appointed a Chesapeake Census 2020 Complete Count Committee (CCC). The committee will assist with education and promotion of the upcoming Census to ensure participation from all people living in the City of Chesapeake. View the upcoming full Complete Count Committee agenda. Contact the Planning Department at (757) 382-6176 if you have a meeting or event and would like a representative to discuss the 2020 Census facts.
For more information on the Virginia Complete Count Commission visit their website.
The Census Bureau is still hiring in Chesapeake for all levels, training provided. Jobs are listed by state on www.2020census.gov/jobs (En español). The Virginian-Pilot published an article in October 2019, highlighting the 2,000 - 3,000 jobs being created by the U.S. Census Bureau in Hampton Roads.
The once-a-decade population count serves as the basis for distributing federal assistance to schools and educational institutions, including Title I aid, the National School Lunch Program, and special education grants to states. Join us to spread the word about the importance of the 2020 Census and help ensure that your students, educators, and community members receive the resources they need. Learn how you can become a partner and incorporate census related activities in your school.
Faith Based Organizations
The U.S. Census Bureau partners with the faith community to get the word out about the importance of the count. Faith leaders are trusted voices in their communities. You know how to reach your congregation and members; hard-to-count families, individuals and children; other national and local leaders; and key stakeholders. By being a 2020 Census partner, you can inspire your community to support a complete and accurate count. Learn how to get your church or organization involved (En español) with educating the community on the importance of responding to the 2020 Census.
Census 2020 Preparations
From the April 1, 2019 Census Bureau Press Briefing providing an operational update one year from official Census Day: “The Constitution requires that each decade, we take a census of the population to determine the number of seats each state will be allocated in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said Census Bureau Director Dr. Steven Dillingham.
“To meet that requirement, we go to extraordinary lengths to ensure we count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. We know that the 2020 Census is important to every community. Census data guide how federal, state and local funding for critical services such as schools, fire departments and health care facilities is distributed.”
Dillingham and Albert E. Fontenot Jr., the associate director for Decennial Census Programs, described how preparations for 2020 Census operations are on track and on budget
"In 2020, all households will have the option to respond to the census online, over the phone and by mail,” Fontenot explained. “We have successfully completed numerous tests to validate our systems and operations to support these innovations, while ensuring that respondent data remain confidential, and we are ready to conduct the most technologically advanced and accurate decennial census in our nation’s history."
What is American Community Survey?
After the 2000 Census, the American Community Survey (ACS) was created. The questions formerly asked on the Decennial Census were divided between a “short” and “long” form. The U.S. Census, conducted every 10 years, became the short form while the American Community Survey is now composed of short and long form questions. The U.S. Census is distributed to every household in the United States. It typically consists of basic questions related to age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, household relationships, and owner/renter status. However, the American Community Survey collects more detailed information that not only includes basic short-form questions, but also comprehensive questions about population and housing characteristics. The ACS is compiled every year from a random sampling of 295,000 addresses a month across the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau will notify ACS participants by mail and include instructions for completing the survey online or by paper. Some households may receive both the ACS and the Census 2020 survey. Households should complete both surveys.
For more information on the American Community Survey (ACS), please see the following links: