Tribal participation vital in the Census 2020

By Kaili Berg

     The Census Bureau is the federal government’s largest statistical agency. A census provides facts and figures about America’s people, places and economy. Federal law protects the confidentiality of all the information the Census Bureau collects.

     Tribal participation is essential in the American Community Survey because it supplies the statistics needed to asses a variety of programs. When American Indians and Alaskan Natives complete the ACS, they are helping to ensure that the best statistics are available to their communities to inform future decisions. The need for accurate and complete data is particularly crucial for tribes and tribal organizations.

     Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. Nearly every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker. Most families will receive a letter that explains the ACS and will provide instructions to access and complete the survey online if able too.

     Questions on the ACS will include a variety of things. The Social Security Administration uses income information, as well as the National School Lunch Program, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program, and the U.S Department of Education for grant allocation. These are some of the following federal laws and programs affecting AIAN and also use ACS estimates; Civil Rights Act, Native American Programs Act, Indian Health Care Improvement Act, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and Veterans Benefits Improvement Act.

     Every ten years, everyone living in the United States gets counted in the census. The Census Bureau provides critical, timely information on the health of the U.S and the local economy. You must participate in the Census 2020 because the economic data collected forms the basis for the national unemployment rate, official income and poverty statistics, Consumer Price Index, monthly housing statistics, and other economic indicators.