Census 2020 -- Make Sure You're Counted!

Why Complete Your 2020 Census in April?  Its Worth up to $3,000 for AZ!

You’re probably aware that our nation’s once-every-ten-years census of the entire population returns in April 2020 – and that someone in your household is required, by law, to complete the brief survey.
Do you know why it’s so crucial that every person in Arizona needs to be counted? 
It’s estimated that up to $3,000 per person, per year is at stake for every Arizonan. That is more than $20 billion dollars annually that helps support Arizona’s communities, according to a new website launched by the state: https://azcensus2020.gov/

Your Economic Impact
In fact, for every Arizonan who does not respond to the census, the state stands to lose $887 in federal funding. Just a one-percent undercount would represent a loss to the state of $62 million per year for a decade, for a total loss of $620 million.

The census also impacts our political representation. Arizona stands to gain an additional representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. Local political boundaries within AZ are also based on census data, from our school districts to our state legislature.  Among the reasons our state created the azcensus2020.gov website is to assure Arizonans that your response to the 2020 Census is safe, secure and protected by federal law. Answers can only be used to produce statistics - they cannot be used against you by any government agency or court in any way—not by the FBI, not by the CIA, not by the DHS, and not by ICE.

Governor Doug Ducey established the Arizona Complete Count Committee, a diverse group of Arizonans working to help develop a comprehensive outreach and marketing plan to educate Arizonans about participation in the 2020 Census. Arizona’s Complete Count Committee exists to support efforts of communities across the state, develop strategies for working with state agencies, and ensure that our partners at the federal level can maximize their counting effort in the state.CensusBanner500forWeb

Gila County, At the Forefront
Gila County has been even more progressive about promoting the census: more than a year ago the Board of Supervisors appointed a county-wide Complete Count Committee, selecting representatives from Rim Country down through Globe-Miami and including dedicated staff from San Carlos Apache Tribal Administration, too. Their goal? Reach ‘hard-to-count’ areas and populations, communities with traditionally low response rates to the census. Arizona has challenges across the entire state, but prior censuses have shown lower response rates from rural areas and tribal communities, and specifically for seniors, college students, children under five years old, and faith-based communities.

The census plays an important role in determining the amount of federal funding Arizona receives. The $675 billion available to states every year is based on population. A complete count next year ensures that we can preserve the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in Arizona.

What is Arizona’s share of the federal funding used for? In 2020, it’s critical that every Arizonan is counted to ensure that our state, our counties and our cities can provide the services needed for our growing population, including schools, hospitals, health care, school lunch programs, roads, public works, community services, clinics – and much more.

Quick – And Convenient
The 2020 census asks just seven questions and by April 1 every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census, explaining your three options for responding conveniently online, by phone or by mail. The 2020 Census marks the first time you’ll have the option to respond online - you can even respond on your mobile device. Read more at https://azcensus2020.gov/

Christmas Tradition

 If the population census seems like a modern invention, consider the Christmas Eve sermon delivered by pastor Byron Mills, reminding his congregation at St. John’s Episcopal Church of the gospel explaining that Mary and Joseph returned to Bethlehem for a population tally decreed by the Romans. Every 10 years the Federal Census Bureau counts the entire United States population; a new tally required by the Constitution and used to determine how many representatives Arizona has in the U.S. Congress, as well as to revise congressional district boundaries. Globe, Payson, Miami, Hayden, Winkelman and the San Carlos Apache Tribe use population data to plan for schools, roads, and emergency services. Businesses study census demographic trends to choose new business openings. Each year, federal agencies distribute hundreds of billions of dollars to communities based on Census Bureau data.

The Gila County Board of Supervisors established a Pre-census Complete Count Committee, and invites community leaders to our organizational meetings throughout 2019. Our goal? To announce and promote the census during the coming year – encouraging everyone in Gila County to participate. To RSVP to attend our next Complete Count Committee meeting or to be added to the alert list – please call Stacey at (928) 402-4336 or email sespinoza@gilacountyaz.gov  .

“There’s a lot at stake with the 2020 census,” says Roy Sandoval, Gila County Superintendent of Schools. “And, yes, that’s still more than a year in the future – but 2019 is the year that we need community leaders to help promote the census, announcing it over the year ahead to your congregations, your neighbors, constituents, students, staff and your employees. We need to reach residents who are least likely to participate in the census – we’ve got to reassure them that it's simple, anonymous, and ever so important to Gila County for funding over the next decade.” Sandoval and others on the new Complete Count Committee invite Rim Country pastors, teachers, town council, school board members and anyone who has an audience to help emphasize that the 2020 census is convenient, anonymous and important.

Convenient – Confidential - Convenient because it has only a dozen questions, and for the first time in history it can be completed online or by phone, in addition to the traditional paper copy. And it’s anonymous by law; the Census Bureau is forbidden from identifying specific data or individuals. Adding some buzz to the coming count, the Census Bureau launched a new tool: Response Area Outreach Mapper (census.gov/roam), a website where anyone can view statistical data – and monitor census completion by communities and regions. Visit and you’ll find an odometer-like counter, tracking births in real time (one birth every 8 seconds, compared to a death every 11 seconds). Explore census.gov/quickfacts/gilacountyarizona for facts about our county.

You may already know our total population is over 53,000 -  but were you aware that:

  • 28 percent are age 65 and older

  • Race: 62 percent Caucasion, 18.7 percent Hispanic, 17.6 percent Native American or Alaska Native - and .8 percent Black or African American

  • 5,500 are veterans, 72 percent live in 'owner occupied' homes - with an average value of $153,000

  • 85 percent are graduates of high school; 19 percent earned a bachelor's degree or higher

  • 14 percent of those under age 65 don't have health insurance - a number nearly identical to the percentage of Gila County residents under age 65 who reported having a disability

  • The Bureau reports 47 percent of the workforce over age 16 are employed, and it takes an average 18.7 minutes to travel to work! Median household income is listed as $41,179 with per capita income of $22,433 - and 24 percent of the population living in poverty

  • Business? Bureau statistics show 4,000 businesses – 1,800 owned by men, 1,495 owned by women, 851 owned by minorities and 406 owned by Veterans.