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.
We all play an important role in ensuring EVERY CHILD in EVERY COUNTY is counted! It is especially important to share this information as dental offices are closed and health care facilities are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Health and dental providers are viewed as trusted voices by parents. Before the pandemic, office visits were a great way to communicate the importance of the census to families and provide handouts with additional details. Despite social distancing and the closure of many health and dental offices, providers can continue to promote participation in the census in creative ways.
- Consider sharing census fact sheets, ads, and videos on your website and social media accounts and in any mailings you send patients.
- Stress that it has never been easier to complete the census from the comfort of your own home (online, by phone, or by mail) and that doing so before May will prevent the Census Bureau from having to send someone to your home.
- Healthcare facilities still seeing patients can hang up laminated posters (so they can easily be sanitized) and show census ads and videos on waiting room TVs.
The Federation of Pediatric Organizations has compiled some promotional materials for use by healthcare providers here. Many more materials are available on the Census Bureau’s website and YouTube page. Providers serving children may be especially interested in using census materials developed by Sesame Street and Nickelodeon.
During these uncertain times, those who serve our children and their families play an important role in Kentucky communities. Let’s get every person – adults, children, and babies – counted! Fill out the census for your household at my2020census.gov.