Committee reminding people to answer their census forms

Official Census Day is April 1

Posted 2/21/20

Once every ten years the federal government conducts a census of all residents nationwide. The purpose of this massive head count is primarily -- and constitutionally -- to determine the number of …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Not a subscriber?


Start a Subscription

Sign up to start a subscription today! Click here to see your options.

Purchase a day pass

Purchase 24 hours of website access for $2. Click here to continue

Day pass subscribers

Are you a day pass subscriber who needs to log in? Click here to continue.


Committee reminding people to answer their census forms

Official Census Day is April 1

Posted

Once every ten years the federal government conducts a census of all residents nationwide. The purpose of this massive head count is primarily -- and constitutionally -- to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. Given that Rhode Island may be in danger of losing one of its two congressional seats due to population changes relative to other states, the 2020 census looms as perhaps the most influential event of, well, the decade.

Underscoring its importance is the the fact that the census numbers are used in a multitude of other critically important ways as well, from shaping state and local voting districts to determining the amount of federal aid for state and community-based programs. In fiscal year 2016 alone, for example, the state of Rhode Island received nearly $4 billion of funds through 55 federal spending programs.

So officials throughout the state are highly motivated to ensure that every person in Rhode Island is counted in the upcoming census. Barrington is no exception, and the town has formed a Census Complete Count Committee to help heighten public awareness of the 2020 census and increase the response rate of Barrington residents.

“Our basic job is to spread the word,” said Dan O’Mahony, member of the Barrington Board of Canvassers and chair of the town’s Complete Count Committee. “We’ll be working with contacts throughout the community to share information about the 2020 census in hopes that everyone in Barrington is on the lookout for and answers their census form.” 

Members of the committee include volunteers from organizations representing the town, schools, the library, the business community, the senior community, and major political parties. The committee welcomes ideas and suggestions for increasing public awareness about the 2020 Census. The committee can be reached via email at Barrington2020Census@gmail.com.

The official Census Day is April 1.

Of special note is that the 2020 census will be the first census in history conducted primarily online. For past censuses, people submitted their responses by mail using a paper questionnaire. In 2020, the Census Bureau will encourage households to respond through an online portal. The Census Bureau will begin mailing letters to households in mid-March with instructions on how to complete the census form online. Each household will be assigned a unique, secure ID to access the online form. People also will have the option to respond by telephone, or to request a mail-in paper questionnaire.

More information about the 2020 Census is available at 2020census.gov or the website of the Rhode Island Complete Count Committee: http://www.planning.ri.gov/planning-areas/Census/census-2020.php.

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

Barrington · Bristol · East Providence · Little Compton · Portsmouth · Tiverton · Warren · Westport
Meet our staff
Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.