Starting in March, Marylanders will be asked to take part in the 2020 U.S. Census, and the Church is encouraging everyone to participate.
Every ten years, the U.S. Constitution requires the federal government to take a count of everyone living in the country. The 2020 count will begin in March.
"The Census has a profound impact on the shape of our government and our communities by helping define everything from our state's representation in Congress, to funding for programs, such as those that serve our most vulnerable and that keep us safe," said Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference. "It is important that each of us do our part by completing the Census and encouraging others to do so as well."
Census forms will be mailed to each household starting mid-March and the deadline to respond is July 31, 2020. The form asks important information such as number of people living in the home and each person's demographic information. It does not include a question about citizenship.
The Catholic Church has a rich tradition of caring for the most vulnerable in our society. While individual Catholics and Catholic organizations have a responsibility to address local needs, government programs and funding also play a role in combatting poverty, educating children, and providing support for the vulnerable. In Fiscal Year 2016, Maryland received more than $16 billion through federal programs that used 2010 census data to determine our state's allocation.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops outlined the significance of an accurate Census by stating that: “The Catholic Church and other service providers rely on the national Census to provide an accurate count in order to effectively serve those in need. We urge for all people to be counted in the Census, regardless of their citizenship…Our society, rooted in the strength of the family, cannot risk missing this opportunity to give children and parents the tools they need to succeed.”
To learn more about the Census and to download resources, visit: www.mdcatholic.org/2020census.