By Justine Amodeo
While nationally and statewide, responses to the 2020 Census are on track, as of August 3, only 60.3% of Laguna Beach residents have responded, ranking the city 371 out of the state’s 482 incorporated cities. Nationwide and in California as a whole, responses to the 2020 Census are on track, as more than 62% of households have responded online or by phone, or by mail if they received a paper questionnaire in the mail or on their doorstep.
According to Jeanette Durán Pacheco, media specialist for the Los Angeles Regional Office of the U.S. Census Bureau, it’s important that everyone be counted since results from the 2020 Census inform planning and funding decisions for critical public services, emergency and disaster response, hospitals, public transit and schools and education programs. In fact, census results will shape decisions “about how billions of dollars in federal funds flow into communities each year for the next decade,” she said.
For every resident in Laguna Beach who does not respond, the California Department of Finance estimates that state and local governments will lose out on $1,000 a year per person in federal funding tied to population for the next 10 years.
The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced it is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census a month earlier than originally planned, on Sept. 30, as part of an effort to “accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of December 31, 2020, as required by law and directed by the Secretary of Commerce,” US Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said in the written statement posted on the bureau’s website.
To date, 63 percent of households in the nation have responded with four out of 10 households yet to be counted. Responding is easier than ever, Pacheco said. For the first time this year, you can respond online. The census asks just a few questions and it takes only a few minutes to respond. You should be counted where you were living and sleeping most of the time as of April 1, 2020.
According to the government website, if you are responding for your home, count everyone who was living and sleeping there most of the time as of April 1, 2020. This includes young children, foster children, roommates, and any family members or friends who are living with you, even temporarily.
The site notes that if someone was staying with you temporarily on April 1 due to the COVID-19 situation, they should be counted where they usually live. This includes college students, who should still be counted at school, even if they are home early because of the COVID-19 situation. If they live in student housing, the college will count them. If they live off campus, they should complete the census for their off-campus address and include any roommates or other people living there.
If you’ve lost your census ID, you can go online and fill out the information without it. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.