The 2020 census is just around the corner and, according to Mayor Ginny Dicky, it is important every resident of Fountain Hills be counted.

“Fountain Hills is participating with the regional effort driven by the Maricopa Association of Governments to ensure all the people in our town are counted,” Dickey said. “Valley communities will under the #iCount2020 campaign so that everyone is informed and the maximum number is included.”

Dickey said the census data is used to divide up to $675 billion in federal funds to support education, healthcare, transportation, parks, hospitals, emergency response and other local services, noting that for each person counted, the state receives $2,959 in federal funding. That equates to more than $20 billion per years.

“In addition, the results will determine the representation each state has in the U.S. House, where Arizona is expected to gain one seat,” Dickey continued. “The census also gives businesses an idea of who’s living here, so they can make informed decisions about where to open new stores, restaurants, hotels, salons, etc.”

Dickey said the aim for Fountain Hills is to account for every resident, including the town’s seasonal residents.

“To quote one of the taglines,” Dickey continued, “‘Count everyone…Once, only once and in the right place.’”

2020 census

By April 1, 2020, the Census Bureau plans to send a letter or a door knocker to every U.S. household. It’s part of a once-a-decade tradition required by the federal Constitution of counting every person living in the U.S.

Census numbers will shape how political power and federal tax dollars are shared in the U.S. over the next 10 years.

The 2020 census will officially start on Jan. 21 in Toksook Bay, Alaska, more than two months before Census Day, April 1. Most households will start participating around mid-March, when letters with instructions are scheduled to be sent to 95 percent of homes around the country.

The 2020 count will be the first one to allow all U.S. households to respond online. Paper forms will still be available, and, for the first time, you will be able to call an 800 number to give responses over the phone.

Census workers will make home visits to remote areas — including rural Alaska, parts of northern Maine and some American Indian reservations — to gather census information in person.

Households in the rest of the U.S. that do not respond themselves by early April may start receiving visits from door knockers trained to conduct census interviews and collect responses using smartphones.

Census questions

Most questions will be similar to previous census forms. They include the number of people living or staying in the residence on April 1, 2020, whether the home is owned with or without a mortgage; rented or occupied without rent.

The name, sex, age, date of birth and race of each person in the home will be asked, and the relationship of each to a central person in the household. Whether each person is of Hispanic, Latino or Spanish origin will be asked.

Notable changes will include a write-in area under the race question for the non-Hispanic origins of those who identify as white and/or black.

There are also new household questions that allow couples living together to identify their relationships as either “same-sex” or “opposite-sex.”

Census jobs

The Census Bureau will fill a half million full- and part-time positions to make sure the 2020 campaign is a success.

Applications can be submitted online at 2020census.gov/jobs. According to information provided by the Census Bureau, these opportunities include “great pay, flexible hours, weekly pay and paid training.”

Applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, be a U.S. citizen, have a valid email address and, if you are a male born after Dec. 31, 1959, be registered with the Selective Service System or have a qualifying exemption.

For questions or assistance applying, call 1-855-562-2020.