The census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every ten years. The Constitution requires that every person in the United States be counted—adults, children and babies, citizens, immigrants, and anyone living in this country.
Data collected is protected by law and cannot be shared with other government agencies. This year, it’s never been easier to fill out the census either online, by telephone, or by mail.
Why is the Census important?
States use census data to determine representation in Congress. States and localities also use census data to plan where health clinics, schools, and roads will be built.
The federal government uses census data to help allocate over $800 billion a year in federal funds. In 2016, Maine received $4.1 billion in federal funds informed by census data.
How do nonprofits play a role in the Census?
Nonprofits of every size and type have and can play a crucial role in making sure the communities they serve are properly represented in the census by making Maine communities count, and, most importantly, nonprofits have the ability to reach hard to count and/or traditionally undercounted communities. Some of our most vulnerable residents can miss out on being counted, thus negatively impacting critical federal funding for the next ten years. You can help #MakeMECount by reminding and encouraging your members and constituents to respond to the Census.
What YOU can do
As of September 7, 2020, only 57.3% of Maine households had completed the 2020 Census. Luckily, census takers have been hard at work going door-to-door and Maine is the sixth highest state in enumerated households—both on their own through self response and by census takers through a process known as Nonresponse Followup.
It is imperative to ensure an accurate count in 2020, so everyone gets the resources and representation they deserve. The populations which tend to have the highest risk of being undercounted are rural communities and communities with people of color. As a result, Maine is at risk of being undercounted, so MAKE MAINE COUNT by doing the following:
- Fill out your 2020 Census!
- Online: www.2020census.gov
- By Phone: 1-800-923-8282
- By Mail: fill out your invitation!
- Encourage others to fill out the census. As trusted messengers, nonprofit organizations play a vital role in helping to increase the response rate. Maine currently has one of the lowest response rates in the nation.
- Share graphics or create your own to share through your communications channels. We’ve created a few Maine-specific Census graphics (see below) and Creatives for the Count has a downloadable toolkit and a whole gallery of ideas for you to get inspired by!
- Stay updated on Maine’s response rates here and if you really want to geek out over numbers, you can view response rates by county, how many were done online, and even see what the rates were for the last Census.
Census Graphics for Maine Nonprofits
Download any of these graphics to share on social media:
Sample Census Messaging
Copy and edit any of these messages for your own use:
- Why do we support the #2020Census? The census informs where federal funds go every year for things like our healthcare workers, EMTs and firefighters. Go to 2020Census.gov now to respond!
- The #2020Census counts everyone who lives in Maine. No matter who you are, we all count! Go to 2020Census.gov and make Maine communities count!
- There’s still time to shape the future for your community. You can complete the #2020Census now online, by phone, or by mail. Visit 2020Census.gov.
- No matter where you call home, the #2020Census is your chance to shape the future of your community. Complete your 2020 Census today! 2020Census.gov
- The #2020Census helps direct billions of dollars of funding for things that your community needs, including roads. Complete the census today. Visit 2020Census.gov
- All Mainers deserve fair representation. Take the Census to #ShapeYourFuture. Remind family, friends and neighbors – this is one thing we can do collectively right now. Maine Maine communities count and complete your #2020Census today!
- It’s never been easier to complete the Census – online, phone or mail. Make Maine communities count and shape our future by taking the #2020Census
- Did you know… data from the #2020Census will be used to help economic development in your community for the next 10 years? Make Maine communities count and complete the #2020Census today!
- Tag @USCensusBureau in your posts (they’re on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter)
- Use the Maine-specific hashtags: #MakeMECount and #NonprofitsWorkforME
- Use the official campaign hashtags: #2020Census and #ShapeYourFuture
Timeline for the 2020 Census
Recent News + Census Info
- Maine Complete Count Committee Information
- Census Bureau must temporarily halt winding down operations (September 6, 2020, News Center Maine/Associated Press)
- Maine surges in Census responses, but 12 percent of households still not counted (August 29, 2020, Bangor Daily News)
- Census takers are visiting nonresponding households in Maine (August 12, 2020, Wiscassett Newspaper)
- With tighter census deadline, advocates worry Mainers most in need won’t be counted (August 10, 2020, Beacon)
- Low census response rate threatens tens of millions in funding for Maine as count nears end (August 8, 2020, The Piscataquis Observer)
- Our View: Maine will lose out if census is cut short (August 5, 2020, Portland Press Herald)
- Census Door Knocking Cut A Month Short Amid Pressure To Finish Count (July 30, 2020, NPR)
- Census Takers Begin Making House Calls in Maine (July 16, 2020, U.S. News & World Report)
- Maine city to help launch new phase of the U.S. Census (July 2, 2020, WMTW)
- Northern Maine is so isolated that census workers have to count the population door-to-door (June 20, 2020, Bangor Daily News)
- Completing Census questionnaire helps towns get their ‘fair share’ (June 20, 2020, Wiscasset Newspaper)
- Why Maine Nonprofits Should Care About the 2020 Census (MANP Blog Post)
- Mainers Need an Accurate Census (Maine Children’s Alliance)
- Counting for Dollars (George Washington Institute of Public Policy)
- Census 101 (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Census FAQ (U.S. Census Bureau)
- Why Does the Census Ask That (PRB)
- Track Census Response Rates (U.S. Census Bureau)
- MANP Webinar: 2020 Census Overview (Recorded Jan. 30, 2020)
- Census 2020 – What is the 2020 Census?
- Census 2020 – Is My Census 2020 Data Safe?
- Why We Need to Count All Kids in Census 2020
- The Census and Education
The impact of COVID-19 on the 2020 Census
It has never been easier to respond on your own, whether online, over the phone or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker. With the flexibility and support of the American people, the Census bureau still aims to achieve a complete and accurate count in 2020.
The latest news: On August 3, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it will end field data collection by September 30, 2020. Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing.
On September 5, 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau released this text in response to a federal court order.
Contact MANP’s Director of Advocacy + Public Affairs, Sarah Skillin Woodard, at email@example.com.