Wayne County has some ground to make up when it comes to participating in the 2020 Census. According to figures provided by the county, only 60.8% of people in Wayne County have responded to the Census, while the average rate in the State of North Carolina is a 61.9% participation rate.
The results of the 2020 Census will inform decisions about allocating hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to communities across the country—for hospitals, fire departments, school lunch programs, and other critical programs and services. The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years. The results are used to adjust or redraw electoral districts, based on where populations have increased or decreased. State legislatures or independent bipartisan commissions are responsible for redrawing congressional districts. The U.S. Census Bureau provides states with population counts for this purpose.
Strict federal law protects your census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual. Census Bureau employees take a lifelong pledge of confidentiality to handle data responsibly and keep respondents’ information private. The penalty for wrongful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
The Census Bureau will never ask for:
- Social Security numbers
- Bank or credit card account numbers
- Money or donations
- Anything on behalf of a political party
No law enforcement agency (not the DHS, ICE, FBI, or CIA) can access or use your personal information at any time.
Data collected can only be used for statistical purposes that help inform important decisions, including how much federal funding your community receives. The Census Bureau has a robust cybersecurity program that incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.
On Tuesday, the Wayne County Board of Commissioners approved a proclamation declaring September 15 Local Government Census Day in Wayne County and encouraging residents to take part in the decennial population count.