April 1, 2020 was Census Day 2020. Everyone who fills out a census form must report where they were living on Census Day. Children born on April 1, 2020 will be counted in the 2020 Census, while those born on April 2 will not. Â However, throughout April the Complete Count Committee will continue to promote the census.
In mid-March, Chester County residents began to receive letters from the U. S. Census Bureau requesting that they respond to the census, preferably online. As of March 29, 2020, the Chester County response Rate was 42.6%, while the national response rate was 34.7%, and the Pennsylvania response rate was 36.0%. View census response rate updates.
No one can predict what the effect of the COVID epidemic will have on census response rates. However, due to the closure of workplaces, the U. S. Census Bureau has revised is overall schedule for gathering and processing census data. We strongly encourage everyone involved with promoting the 2020 Census to review the detailed schedule update.
Key updates to the schedule are:
- On 3/28/20 the U. S. Census Bureau announced it is suspending 2020 Census field operations for two additional weeks to April 15, 2020.
- The "Self-Response Phase," where the public is strongly encouraged to respond online has been extended out to August 14.
- "Group Quarters Enumeration," for nursing home, prisons, colleges, etc. has been delayed and will occur from April 16-June 19.
- "Nonresponse Follow-up," in which Census takers will interview households in person that have not responded, has been delayed and will occur May 28-August 14.
Planning Commission staff will continue to work remotely as long as county facilities remain partially closed, but we are receiving and responding to emails and phone messages. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 610-344-6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Census Outreach Update: March 25, 2020
Although there has been a reduction in Census outreach activities due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Complete County Committee and its members are still moving forward. Below are some updates:
The US Census Bureau is reporting that as of March 22, 2020, the nation-wide census response rate was 21.0%, Pennsylvania's response rate was 21.0%, and Chester County's response rate was 24.8%. You can check the response rate for Chester County, and all other counties in the United States by visiting the Census 2020 Response Rates webpage.
Amanda Blevins of La Comunidad Hispana (LCH) has forwarded to us a set of English and Spanish brochures that LCH is distributing to their clients. LHC has graciously permitted us to post these brochures so that anyone who wishes to print and distribute them can do so:
The census is now operating a service in which residents can fill out the Census 2020 form over the phone in English, Spanish, and a number of other languages. To use this service, residents should call the toll-free census help line at 1-844-330-2020 (or 1-844-468-2020 in Spanish). Phone lines are open every day from 7 AM to 2AM Eastern Time. However, due to quarantine-related census staff reductions, the wait times for these calls can be long, especially during mid-day.
Many Chester County residents have received two letters from the Census. We have found that these duplicates usually occur when there are two variations of a single address such as "500 Main Street Apt. 2" and "500 Main Street, Unit 2". Residents should fill out whichever form they prefer, but should only fill out one of them.
Until further notice, the Planning Commission office will be closed and we will not be able to deliver brochures or posters.
2020 Census Video Announcment
The 2020 Census is arriving soon! This video, featuring Brian O'Leary, Executive Director of the Chester County Planning Commission, and Peter Urscheler, Mayor of Phoenixville, highlights a few key aspects of the upcoming census including its importance, ease of use, and confidentiality.
How your organization can become a Census Champion
The Chester County Census 2020 Complete Count Committee (CCC) is seeking out organizations that wish to promote the 2020 Census by becoming a "Census Champion." A Census Champion is a civic group, business, government entity, social service organization, educational facility, or other organization that agrees to promote the 2020 Census to the individuals with whom they interact. The primary goal of a Census Champion is to conduct outreach to "hard to count" communities which are more likely to be undercounted during the 2020 Census. Some organizations that have already become Census Champions are: The United Way of Chester County; The Phoenixville Senior Center; and the Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County.
If you have any questions or would like for your organization to become a Census Champion, contact the Chester County Planning Commission at email@example.com or 610-344-6285. We are especially interested in organizations that interact with the following communities or groups: seniors, farm workers, foreign language speakers, immigrant communities, minority communities, and college students. The Census Champion initiative is a voluntary program, but county staff can provide you with flyers, posters, and general guidance. You can download a brochure entitled "How to become a Census Champion". If your organization's board requires a formal agreement to participate, you can download a Census Champion Memorandum of Understanding.
Outreach materials you can download and distribute today!
The CCC has created a series of outreach publications in English and Spanish that you can download and distribute to the community you serve. These materials can be distributed at any location where hard-to-count populations may be found such as: adult literacy classes, food pantries, houses of worship, ESL classes, immigrant groups, and grocery stores catering to immigrant communities.
Downloadable Poster to Promote the Census
We have also created seven posters that can be displayed in places like libraries, hospital waiting rooms, or even in the break rooms or cafeterias of work places. These posters, which can be downloaded below, are available in both English and Spanish. They can be printed on either 8½" x 11" or 11" x 17" sheets:
- Poster #1 — The Census schedule from March to May of 2020
English | Spanish
- Poster #2 — Explaining how children need to be counted in the census
English | Spanish
- Poster #3 — Different ways to fill out the census form
English | Spanish
- Poster #4 — How to save time by completing the census online
English | Spanish
- Poster #5 — Listing the 9 simple questions that will be on the 2020 Census
English | Spanish
- Poster #6 — Describing how your personal information will be kept safe
English | Spanish
- Poster #7 — Tips for identifying a census worker and avoiding scams
English | Spanish
Promote the 2020 Census through social media, webpages, or email newsletters
The CCC has created a series of prepared social media "soundbites" you can download and edit to best get the message out to your target audience. The documents are:
- #1 — Text suitable for farm operations, the agriculture industry, and mushroom producers
- #2 — Text suitable for business, corporations, and Chambers of Commerce
- #3 — Text suitable for schools, colleges, teachers, and educators
- #4 — Text suitable for groups involved with ESL (English as a Second Language)
- #5 — Text suitable for houses of worship such as churches, Hindu temples, mosques, and synagogues.
- #6 — Text suitable for legislators such as municipal officials or state level representatives
- #7 — Text suitable for municipalities and their staff including administrators and volunteers
- #8 — Text suitable for groups that serve older adults (65 years or older)
- #9 — Text suitable for community service groups including non-profits and volunteer groups
- #10 — Text suitable for transportation agencies dealing with motor vehicle, bus, rail, or bicycle travel
- #11 — Text suitable for groups the serve youth advocates (18 years or younger)
Materials and resources to help you or your staff become better informed about the 2020 Census
The CCC has created a series out outreach publications in English and Spanish that you can download and distribute to the staff members of your organization.
- Talking Points Memorandum — This two page memo provides brief talking points that explain how the 2020 Census will benefit Chester County Residents in terms of political representation on the US congress, and receiving federal funding for needed public projects. English or Spanish
- FAQs for Census Champions — This six page memo presents questions that are commonly asked about the 2020 Census, and Chester County's Censes Champion program in particular. English or Spanish
If you would like to speak with federal staff from the 2020 Census, or would like for a census staff member to speak with your organization, please contact:
Joy Dvornicich, Partnership Specialist — Chester County
Philadelphia Regional Census Center
U.S. Census Bureau
The 2020 Census is easy, confidential and important
In March and April of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will be conducting the 2020 Census, as is required by Article 1,Section 2 of the United States Constitution which mandates a count of all the people living in the United States every ten years. Because the 2020 Census affects the future distribution of state and federal funding to Chester County's governments and social service organizations, the Chester County Commissioners have established a Complete Count Committee to help ensure that all residents in Chester County are counted. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the Complete Count Committee for Chester County, and the 2020 Census in general.
What is the Chester County Complete Count Committee (CCC)?
In the summer of 2019, the Chester County Commissioners established the Chester County CCC, which consists of a variety of community leaders from education, business, healthcare, and other public and private organizations. These trusted voices are working with County government to develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign based upon their knowledge of the local community. The focus of the CCC is to conduct public outreach to "hard-to-count" residents of Chester County who may include temporary residents, like college students or farm workers, and other people like the seniors or recent immigrants who are less likely to fill out forms due to a lack of familiarity.
The Chester County CCC will be actively working from the fall of 2019 to the spring of 2020 to ensure that everyone in Chester County is counted. For more information on the committee, contact us at ChescoCensus@chesco.org or 610-344-6285.
When will the Census forms be mailed?
The 2020 Census will be mailing out materials to Chester County residents mostly during March and April of 2020.
March 12 to 20: Each residential address, including rental apartments, will be mailed a census invitation card, and instructions for the on-line submission. It will also explain how to fill out the form over the phone, or by using a paper form.
March 16 to 24: A reminder post card will be sent to each residential address.
March 26 to April 3: If you have not yet submitted your Census information, a reminder postcard will be sent to you.
April 8 to 16: If you have not yet submitted your Census information, a reminder letter and a paper questionnaire will be set to you.
April 20-27: If you have not yet submitted your Census information, you will be sent a final reminder and a notification that you may be visited by a Census taker.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Why is the 2020 Census important to my community?
- The Census is used to apportion representation in the US House of Representatives as mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the US Constitution.
- The Census is also used in drawing the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts, as well as voting precincts.
- Census data is used in enforcing voting rights and civil rights legislation.
- Census counts are used by federal agencies to distribute over $675 billion federal dollars to states and local municipalities.
- Census information is used extensively by private businesses, government agencies, and service providers like hospitals and public water utilities.
Is filling out the 2020 Census difficult?
Filling out the 2020 Census is easy and consists of nine questions.
- The Census will ask you about:
- Your age and sex
- Your race and ancestry
- How many people are living at the address
- The Census will not ask you about:
- Your social secure number
- If you are, or are not, a citizen
- Your income
Households will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or through a paper questionnaire. The sample paper questionnaire below does not include some features that will be made available to households starting in March 2020, such as the URL for online response and the contact information for phone response.
Is my information confidential?
Any information you provide to the Census, either online or in paper form will remain confidential. Federal law required that Census data only be used for statistical purposes. For more information, view the 2020 Census and Confidentiality brochure.
Will a Census taker visit my home?
If you fill out the Census form online, or mail in a completed paper form, no Census staff will come to your home. If a Census taker does visit your address, he or she will show you identficiation, and will not step inside your home.
Can I fill out the Census online or over the phone?
Yes. In March of 2020, each mailing address in the County will be mailed a postcard with directions on how to fill out the Census online, or over the phone.
Will the Census send me an email?
No. The Census will contact you by mail or by phone.