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Coronavirus forces shift in Census calendar

Posted at 8:57 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 22:57:07-04

(NBC News) The COVID-19 outbreak has not stopped the 2020 census, but the pandemic has forced the U.S. Census Bureau to change its calendar.

"We did have plans beginning in late May to knock on doors of homes that had not responded, we pushed that back a little bit," says Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham.

As mandated in Article One of the Constitution, every ten years the Census Bureau begins what is basically a national head count.

Every household should receive a form in the mail with three ways to respond: Online, by phone or by mail.

Eventually, census workers will go door to door to count households that have not responded.

The data that's collected is crucial.

"It's used to determining hospitals, health care, roads, infrastructure, education K-12, higher education and a multitude of other purposes and benefit programs," Dillingham explains.

"The private sector uses it for economic development as well as business decisions."

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