Census 101: Your Family Counts Too!

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Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide count to determine the number of people living in the United States, and everyone in your household should be included. The Census provides the basis for reapportioning Congressional seats and distributing billions of dollars in federal funding for schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

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Starting in mid-March, Florida residents will receive a postcard in the mail from the Census Bureau containing a unique number that encourages participation online. There is also a phone number to call, which provides response opportunities in 13 languages. However, there are often many questions associated with how children and families should be counted. Below is a list of scenarios your family could encounter when filling out the Census.

  • Children attending boarding school, living away from home but below college age/level, should be counted at their parents’ or guardians’ home address. High school students who live with their parents and attend school during the day should also be counted at home. However, if you have a student living at a residential school for people with disabilities, they should be counted at their school address.

  • If a child is away at college in the United States, they should be counted at their school address — whether it’s a dormitory or off-campus housing. College students who are U.S. citizens but living outside the country while attending college shouldn’t be counted in the Census. However, if a student lives at home while they are attending college, they should be counted at home.

  • Foster children should be counted at the residence where they live and sleep most of the time. If there isn’t a clear place, those children should be counted where they are staying on Census Day, which is April 1, 2020.

  • Pregnant women often wonder how their new bundle of joy should be counted. Babies born on or before Census Day should be counted where they live and sleep most of the time, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1, 2020. Babies born after Census Day are should not be counted in this Census.

  • Children in shared custody situations should be counted at the place where they live and sleep most of the time. Parents should communicate with each other to determine who is counting that child to be assured they aren’t counted twice. However, if the child lives with one parent 50 percent of the time and the other parent 50 percent of the time, the child is counted where they are living on Census Day.

As we embark on a new decade, Miami-Dade County urges all parents and teachers to discuss the Census in their social circles – making sure their friends and family know about it before their invitation to respond arrives. The more people who do their part in answering the Census, the more dollars our county will receive in funding to help our growing community. For more information, visit: www.miamidade.gov/2020census