Census in the time of coronavirus

Blog post by Ted McEnroe, Luc Schuster
March 12, 2020

Boston Indicators   (Boston)

With politics and coronavirus dominating the news, it’s easy to overlook a critically important document arriving in the mailboxes of most American households over the coming week.

Today, March 12, marks the first day that American households can complete their questionnaires for the 2020 United States Census. (April 1 is the official Census Day launch, but people can actually start completing the form online as of today.) It’s the culmination of years of preparation, by the Census Bureau and by hundreds of nonprofits, across the country and in Massachusetts, to ensure a fair questionnaire and a complete count of every person residing in the United States.

Well over a year ago, Boston Indicators published Census 2020, Explained: How It Works and What’s at Stake for Massachusetts, which highlighted the critical importance of a complete count for federal funding to the state, for the proper drawing of Congressional and local political districts, and for scores of other research initiatives that depend upon an accurate understanding of who lives in our communities and what their needs are.