Every. One. Counts.

The U.S. Census has been conducted every ten years since 1790. Every decade, we account for everyone living in the United States so that we can prepare for the years to come. The 2020 Census will be historical because it is the first census that will be filled out largely online.

The Census is as American as democracy. The Census determines how federal aid is distributed, how district lines are drawn for Congressional representation, and helps our communities plan for the future. By participating in the census, you will ensure Thomas County is prepared for the decade ahead.

Census 101: What You Need to Know

Everyone counts.

The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once and in the right place.

It’s in the Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.

It’s about fair representation.

Every 10 years, the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets.

It’s about $675 billion.

The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on census data. That money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

It’s about redistricting.

After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts.

Taking part is your civic duty.

Completing the census is mandatory. It’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!”

Important Dates:

March 12, 2020 – Census forms will be mailed to every household in the U.S. You can respond online, by mail or by phone.

April 1, 2020 – Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census online. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you'll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.

April 15, 2020 – The U.S. Census Bureau will mail paper Census forms to households that haven’t responded online. You may also fill out your form over the phone by calling 1-844-330-2020.

July 1 - September 3 - Census takers will work with administrators at colleges, senior centers, prisons, and other facilities that house large groups of people to make sure everyone is counted.

August 11 – October 31- Census takers will interview homes that haven't responded to the 2020 Census to help make sure everyone is counted.

December - The Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.

March 31, 2021 - By this date, the Census Bureau will send redistricting counts to the states. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.

What does the census mean for you and your family?

  • Participating in the census is required by law, even if you recently completed another survey from the Census Bureau. A complete and accurate count is critical for you and your community, because the results of the 2020 Census will affect community funding, congressional representation, and more.
  • Census data helps with the allocation of federal funding across 55 programs, including the National School Lunch Program, federal student loan programs, and many more.
  • For every person counted, from infants to young children to older adults, the State of Georgia receives more than $2,300 from the federal government. This amount adds up to more than $20 billion annually towards programs that benefit Georgians like you. The more people counted, the more money each community stands to receive.

For more information on Census 2020, visit www.census.georgia.gov or www.census.gov.