Let's participate and be counted Yolo County!
The 2020 Census is coming in April and Yolo County has created a coalition of cities, county departments and partner agencies to help share the message.
The Census takes place every 10 years and the goal is to count everyone once and in the right place. The survey has ~10 questions and answers will help build statistics about the nation's economy and people.
The Census is important because it impacts us locally in our communities; from federal funding to representation and even school boundaries.
Did you know. that more than $675 BILLION is distributed to the 50 states, of which California receives more than $76 billion. That's more than 10% for our one state!
Yolo County receives about $67 million each year in federal money that goes towards construction, public assistance programs, employment education and training, substance abuse and mental health services, supplemental nutrition assistance and more.
Every 10 years, the results of the Census are used to reassign the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. California has gained a seat in the last two Censuses and right now, Yolo County has 2 of California's 54 seats. More seats = more power and voice!
An accurate count of the population will help forecast services and programs for our growing Yolo County population, such as public transportation, rural infrastructure, housing needs, business growth, and service to families and children. Right now, more than 219,000 people live in Yolo County.
Census data is used for a variety of reasons, including:
- Attracting new businesses to state and local areas
- Planning for new hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and other health services
- Creating maps to speed emergency services
- Delivering goods to local markets
- Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly or children
- Drawing school district boundaries
- Planning urban land use
- Determining areas eligible for housing assistance
- And more!
Everyone matters and everyone counts. In 2010, 77% of Yolo County residents participated. Though this is a good number, it also means that 1 out of every 4 people were not counted, this equates to less money coming into our county and less representation in our government.
By learning about the Census and why it's important, we can all inform and engage each other. We can share our knowledge with friends and family, have open conversations with others, and help with misinformation.
We all represent multiple communities, not just the physical one of where we live. We also represent our ethnicity, gender, relationship status, faith, culture and more. This means that when we complete the Census, we are not just filling it out for ourselves, but also so that the many communities we embody are each represented accurately.
The Census has been a part of our history since 1790 and it is a part of our country's foundation. As such, it is our civic duty to complete it. A civic duty is an action or responsibility that every person in the U.S. is require to do, as part of living in the U.S. Other examples of a civic duty include paying taxes or obeying the law.
Participating in the Census is important because we all matter and deserve to be counted. If we don't complete the Census, the government won't know that there are people living in our communities and we may get passed for funding, services, or programs. For each resident that does not take the Census, the County will miss out on money the federal government allots for programs and services.
Information collected by the Census can only be used for statistical purposes and is not used to identify individuals. By law, all responses to the Census are kept confidential. All Census staff take a LIFELONG OATH to protect your data. The Census Bureau also has one of the strongest confidentiality guarantees in the federal government and is protected by Title 13 of the U.S. Code. This means that if a Census employee has a violation, s/he would face a fine of up to $250,000 and/or up to five years in jail.
The Census is one way in which we can bring funding to our community's much needed programs and services. Census data impacts our lives everyday and can help residents support community initiatives, local governments plan new schools and hospitals, businesses build new factories and stores that create jobs, or real estate developers and city planners map new homes and improve neighborhoods.
We All Count
Our voices deserve to be heard and our communities deserve to have the funding they need. We all matter. We all count. Let's complete the Census together.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
There's a lot to learn about the Census and it can be confusing for anyone. Here you will find some answers to some of the most common questions about the Census.
Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a survey to count every person in the U.S. and in the right place. Data from the Census will help distribute more than $675 billion in federal funding each year to communities across the country to support vital programs and services. California receives about $70 billion each year and Yolo County about $76 million.
The first Census took place in 1790 and the next one will take place in April of 2020. You will start to see commercials, ads, and articles about the Census starting in mid 2019 all the way to April 2020. Yolo County will also be working with partners and agencies to help share the message so you may see staff at an event, community meeting or presentation!
The U.S. Census Bureau will mail physical addresses a notice to complete the 2020 Census starting in mid March of 2020. Once you receive the notice, you can complete the survey. You can take the survey: online, by mail, or by phone. The state is estimating that it will take 10 minutes per person to take the Census. So if you have a family of 5, it may take 50 minutes but each survey will be the same so it may take a shorter amount of time.
Anyone can take the Census online. You will need either the code that is on the mailed notice, or your physical address. The online survey will be available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese. The online survey will also have Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD).
The majority of residents will receive a notice in the mail about the Census. The printed survey will be available in English and Spanish only and it will be mailed to physical mailing addresses.
If you have a PO box, you may not receive the Census notice in the mail. However, you can still participate by calling in or taking the Census online; you only need your address. If you don't have internet access or a computer, you can visit your local library to complete the online form or attend an events where local Census staff can help you complete the survey on one of their tablets or laptops.
You can also take the survey by calling in. Please check back to find out what number to call.
If you have not completed the Census but a notice was mailed to your residence, Census Bureau staff will first try to reach you by phone to complete the Census starting in May. If they still cannot reach you, Census staff will then go door to door starting in late May.
Beware of Scams
You will never be asked from the Census for your full social security number or bank or credit card account information. If anyone asks you, or you receive mail, for this information or to pay or 'donate,' it may be a scam. For more information about scams or fraudulent activity regarding the Census, click here.
The Census will never ask you for: social security number, money or donations, anything on behalf of a political party, or your bank or credit card accounts. For more detailed information about each question, click here.
The census questionnaire asks for people’s names to ensure that each household member is counted only once. Names, along with other information in the questionnaire, helps census workers remove extra records if a person appears more than once in the count.
Age and Date of Birth
Age data is used in planning and funding government programs that provide funds or services for specific age groups, such as children, working-age adults, or older populations.
Hispanic origins data is required for federal and state programs and are critical factors in the basic research behind numerous policies, particularly for civil rights. It is also used to evaluate government programs and policies and ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of the Hispanic population and to monitor compliance with anti-discrimination laws, regulations, and policies.
This question is required for federal, state, and tribal programs and are critical factors in the basic research behind policies, particularly for civil rights. Race data is used in planning and funding government programs that provide funds or services for specific groups.
Relationship data is used in planning and funding government programs that provide funds or services for families, people living or raising children alone, grandparents living with grandchildren, or other households that qualify for additional assistance. For the first time, the 2020 Census will have boxes for same sex couples to identify themselves in this question.
This question will provide information in planning and funding government programs and in evaluating other government programs and policies to ensure they fairly and equitably serve the needs of males and females. It is also used to allocate funds to institutions of higher learning that increase participation, particularly of minority women, in scientific and engineering programs under the Higher Education Act.
This question will ask whether you are a renter or owner of your current residence, to assess housing inventory. Tenure data is used to analyze whether adequate housing is available to residents and to provide and fund housing assistance programs.
Questions that fall under this category include how many people are living or staying in the residence, the names of those people, and their telephone number.
Yes, there is strict federal law protecting your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both. No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time. Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives.
The Census Bureau has a robust cyber security program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.
If you received a notice through the mail but did not take the Census, the U.S. Census Bureau will try to contact you by calling in April or May of 2020. If the U.S. Census Bureau still cannot reach you, they will send a staff person, called an enumerator, to your address. Enumerators are hired locally and will go door-to-door starting in late May of 2020. They are often the 'last line of defense' for getting an accurate count, which is critical for federal funding and fair political representation.
The same goes if you skipped too many questions on the Census. The U.S. Census Bureau will first try to call you to complete the survey and then send an enumerator to your door.
There's plenty of work to be done and we can use your help! Whether it's sharing what you know or attending events on our behalf, we welcome partners and residents.
Government staff are integral to sharing the Census message since they are trusted messengers within their positions and have knowledge and understanding about what happens at the government or federal level.
Government staff can help local efforts by:
- Listing local events that committee members or partners can attend
- Distributing handouts or information
- Splitting a table at an event
- Sharing, liking, or re-posting our message on social media platforms
- Directing questions or concerns to our local committee
- Connecting committee members to groups or agencies that would like to learn more
- And many others
Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and agencies are an important facet to the success, identity, and support of all our communities in Yolo County. Without your help, many services, programs and needs would go unmet.
Since so much is at stake, the state of California is utilizing regional Administrative Community Based Organizations (ACBOs) to help with outreach. In Northern California, the contract was awarded to Sacramento Region Community Foundation, who has enlisted the help of Yolo Community Foundation, to further support county and regional efforts to get the word out about the Census and more specifically, to help with what are known as 'Hard To Count' (HTC) populations.
Yolo Community Foundation and organizations like yours, play an integral role in ensuring that all types of residents are not only aware of the Census but are ready to be counted. We are all working together in this effort and we need your help with:
- Message sharing
- Showcasing the census at an event or program
- Collecting promotional items
- Presenting to groups or residents
- Furthering the message of the Census
- And more
Every supportive action will help get us across the finish line. For more information and to connect with us, contact Yolo Community Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jenny Tan, co-chair of the Yolo County Census committee, at: email@example.com.
Colleges and schools are an important asset to any community, from teaching children the basics to furthering the knowledge of adults. As such, these places of education can be a key factor in sharing what the Census is about and why it is important for our communities. By working with students, staff, faculty administrators and community partners, colleges and schools can support their communities in maintaining important resources.
Schools and colleges can help in a variety of ways, such as:
- Putting up posters about the Census around campuses, student lounges, or staff offices
- Doing lessons about the history and importance of the Census
- Sharing handouts or information with parents or students
- Inviting your local Census committee to table at an event
- Listening to a presentation about the Census from local subject matter experts
- Engaging in conversations with peers, faculty or administrative staff
- Requesting a presentation from your local Census committee
To get involved, contact Jenny Tan, the communications coordinator for Yolo County, at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses help provide jobs, boost our economy, and bring culture and commerce to our county while breathing life into our communities.
The census is a vital tool for business development and growth and can provide insights about population dynamics and available markets. Census data also helps businesses figure out where to put new facilities and establishments, and how to understand the market segment that they seek to serve.
Businesses can use their influence, voice, and reach to help affect a successful outcome for the 2020 Census by:
- Using their social media or digital media platforms
- Sharing how Census data affects you
- Providing resources to groups working to raise awareness around the Census
- Supporting local or state efforts
- Engaging staff through conversation
- Contributing expertise or products
If you would like more information on how to get involved, contact Jenny Tan, communications coordinator, at: email@example.com.
Residents are the backbone of our communities and it is with your support and input that we have services and programs that meet the needs of our diverse population. Through you do we continue to challenge and innovate ourselves to do more and be better.
Here is a list of easy things you can do to help share the Census message:
State of California Resources:
- California Complete Count
- About the California Complete Count
- State Funding
- California Regions for 2020 Census
- Identifying California's Hard-To-Count Populations
- The California Hard-To-Count Interactive Map
- Yolo County Statistics
U.S. Census Bureau Resources:
We have a variety of suggested handouts, social media posts, images, and more for partners or interested agencies to help share information about the importance of completing the 2020 Census and the impact it has on our community. To get access to the Google Docs link, email Jenny Tan.
Ask Questions Here:
Calendar of Events
Below are events that Census staff will be presenting or tabling at. Come ask questions or take a few handouts! Click on an item for more information, including hours and location.