The U.S. Constitution mandates that the U.S. Census Bureau conduct a census every 10 years. This year marks the 24th time that the U.S. population has been counted since 1790.

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, businesses, research institutions, and many others use to provide products and services, as well as influence decision-making for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to support hospitals, fire departments, education, infrastructure, and other resources based on census data.

These results also determine the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives, and they are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

Collecting accurate data through the U.S. census is critically important, and community associations are well-positioned to make sure all residents are counted. To view CAI’s U.S. Census Field Work & Community Associations Guidance for Boards & Managers, click here.

What can your community do for the census?

Spread the word. The 2020 census is more than a population count; it’s an opportunity to shape your community’s future. Encourage your residents to participate in the census. Provide a link for your residents to complete the questionnaire online.

Welcome official census workers. Census takers started going door to door on July 1 and will continue counting households that have not responded to the 2020 census until September 30, working between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., including weekends. If no one is home when the census taker visits, he or she will leave information about how to respond onlineby phone, or by mail.

Community associations, including gated communities and condominiums, must allow access to census field workers. If someone visits your community to collect census information, make sure they have a valid ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date.

Provide information to census field workers. Community association boards and/or community managers must provide census takers with information about residents and provide access to the community to any properly identified representative of the agency so as to permit the collection of statistics for the 2020 census. The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to keep your answers confidential.

For more information, visit 2020census.gov.

To view CAI’s U.S. Census Field Work & Community Associations Guidance for Boards & Managers, click here.

Dawn Bauman, CAE

Dawn Bauman, CAE

Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs

Executive Director, Foundation for Community Association Research

Full Bio

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