Thursday is the last full day to respond to the 2020 census.
The U.S. Census Bureau says self-response and field data collection operations for the census will conclude on Oct. 15.
Today is your last chance to respond to the #2020Census. Don’t miss this opportunity to shape your community’s future for the next 10 years. Respond now at https://t.co/nzqhoc1xHM. pic.twitter.com/13mFmP2x6P
— U.S. Census Bureau (@uscensusbureau) October 15, 2020
However, American residents can still respond online until 5:59 a.m. ET on Friday.
If you haven’t responded yet, click here to make sure you’re counted.
Supreme Court halts the census
Data collection for the census is ending sooner than planned thanks to a Supreme Court ruling this week that sided with the Trump administration.
Officials say “well over” 99.9% of housing units have been accounted for in the 2020 census, but some are still concerned that the count won’t be accurate, because some communities are harder to reach this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and recent natural disasters.
Why the census is important
An accurate census is important because the count is only taken every 10 years and it's used to determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year over the next decade.
The census affects several areas of everyday life, like transportation. Results influence highway planning and construction, as well as grants for buses, subways and other public transport systems.
The education system also relies on the results to help determine how money is allocated for the Head Start program and for grans that support teachers and special education.
The census data is also used to divide seats in Congress among the states.
“The list goes on, including programs to support rural areas, to restore wildlife, to prevent child abuse, to prepare for wildfires, and to provide housing assistance for older adults,” officials write.