Release Date: March 31,2020

Mayor Horrigan and County Executive Shapiro Remind residents that April 1 is Census Day

Akron, Ohio, March 31, 2020 – On April 1, 2020, the City of Akron, Summit County and the entire nation will recognize Census Day. While efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic continue, the United States must also fulfill its constitutional obligation to deliver an accurate and on-schedule 2020 Census count.

As local communities and states confront the challenges brought by COVID-19, the importance of the 2020 Census has never been more apparent. Many local resources currently being utilized to support residents and businesses adversely affected by the virus and prevention measures are dependent on census results. Representation at the federal level, those who will make decisions about federal funding, will also be determined by the 2020 Census results. Additionally, detailed population data is critical for responding to and preparing for disasters and disease outbreaks. Right now, public health experts are using aggregate census data to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. An accurate 2020 Census count will help them prepare for future disasters and disease outbreaks. 

“It’s vital that each and every person living in our community be correctly counted for the Census,” says Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan. “The Census dictates how billions of dollars in federal funding is distributed to communities across the country—for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other important programs and services. The state of emergency that we are experiencing right now only further reiterates how critically important it is to have an accurate count of who is living in our area so that we can receive our fair share of federal funding.”

“Census Day is a way to bring awareness to a fundamental process in American government, one that was instituted by the founders of this great nation. It’s a day that every person living on American soil fulfills part of their obligation to this country,” added Summit County Executive, Ilene Shapiro. “Further, an accurate Census is crucial to help our region thrive over the next decade. As our community responds to the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of this Census will help us recover and plan for the future.”

Residents have already received the first of several mailed invitations to participate in the 2020 Census. Everyone is encouraged to respond online by following the instructions found in their mailed invitation. Instructions include a Census ID number specific to each household, and the web address for the online questionnaire in English, as well as options to respond in 12 additional languages – ensuring over 99% of U.S. households can respond online in their preferred language. Responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law. Answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against a person in any way. By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau are kept completely confidential.

When completing the Census, individuals counted in a household should include those living and sleeping at the residence most of the time as of April 1, 2020. Unique groups, like college students, service members, and people in health care facilities—may have questions about where they should count themselves or how they should respond. For more details about where people are counted, view the Official Residence Criteria for the 2020 Census.

To celebrate Census Day, Mayor Horrigan, County officials, and others will be taking Census Selfies of themselves filling out the Census. Residents are encouraged to participate and post their own photos with the hashtag #CensusSelfie and to tag 5 friends to also post theirs as well.

For more information or to complete the Census, please visit www.2020census.gov.