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The 2020 Census

Chairman Weatherup Discusses the 2020 Census


The 2020 census is in full swing and there’s a lot at stake in Oswego County! Some populations are at risk of being undercounted. This could result in a loss of funding for programs that our communities – our friends and neighbors – rely on. Get information on the census in our new  interactive pamphlet.

Census Basics

What is the Census?

The census is mandated by the Constitution of the United States and has been conducted without fail every 10 years since 1790. The census is a complete count of all people living within the United States. You will be asked the sex, race, and age of all persons living in your household at the time you complete the questionnaire. It is critical that you note not only the permanent residents of your home, but also anyone who happens to be staying with you on the day that you complete the questionnaire.

Why is the Census so Important?
  • Federal Funding. The Census informs the allocation of more than $675 BILLION in Federal Funding to States. This funding impacts almost all areas of daily life: education, transportation, housing, healthcare, emergency aid, and much more. If a state is undercounted, the entitlement to federal aid is lessened which has a decade-long impact (until the next census!).
  • Representation in Washington, DC. The census population count determines how many representatives in Congress a state has. In other words, an incomplete count can lessen the impact that a state has on policy at a national-level. The census is also used to draw electoral districts, which are generally updated once the Census data is transmitted to the states about a year after the count is complete.
  • Data. Census data is extremely valuable and useful. This data can be used in research and analysis of existing conditions and trends, which is then used to guide decision-making for new schools, roads, housing, and any number of other things. Census data is publicly-accessible at
Is Census Data Secure?
Extremely! Census data is completely anonymous and secure. To quote the Census Bureau, "The Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release your responses in a way that could identify you or your household. Per the Federal Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2015, your data are protected from cybersecurity risks through screening of the systems that transmit your data." For more information, please visit the Census Bureau's Data Protection Website.

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