The U.S. Census only happens once every 10 years, but census data is used every day to shape our future. The City Port St. Lucie relies upon federal funding and grants for many projects and initiatives in our community, which are allocated based on Census data. Our City must be accurately represented, and we need everyone’s help in ensuring a complete count.
The Census has consequences that all PSL residents will live with for the next 10 years. For every person missed, it costs our local governments $1,600. It is estimated St. Lucie County lost up to $1 billion from the undercount in 2010.
You can help ensure everyone is counted by filling in the 2020 Census form. It will be a short set of questions about the number of people living in your household, their ages, race, ethnicity, and income. It’s critical that you fill out your form because your response will determine PSL’s population and federal benefits for the next decade.
If you don’t have access to a computer visit our Census Kiosks beginning March 12, 2020 at:
- Port St. Lucie Community Center, 2195 SE Airoso Blvd.
- MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Event Center, 9221 SE Civic Center Place
- City Hall Buildings A and B, 121 SW Port St. Lucie Blvd.
- County Libraries
Did you know that the United States Census is so much more than just a poll, head-count, or tally?
The information collected will determine how state and federal dollars are distributed, how congressional seats are apportioned, where businesses choose to ship products and where they build new stores. Our local government officials use the census data to ensure public safety, plan new schools, hospitals, neighborhoods and revitalize old neighborhoods. To do all that properly, the count needs to be accurate.
Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs or open new stores, offices or other businesses in communities across the country. When planning a new business or deciding whether to hire more staff, entrepreneurs and big chains alike must answer key questions. Among them: Who are my potential customers? How many live in the area? How many similar businesses are already operating nearby? How much are those competitors paying their employees? The (annual) American Community Survey and the decennial census — both are critical resources.
That’s why it’s important to respond to the 2020 Census. Responses could lead to more jobs and new businesses in a community. Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs or open new stores, offices or other businesses in communities across the country.
Confidential and Secure—Strict federal law protects census responses. It is against the law for any Census Bureau employee to disclose or publish any census information that identifies an individual or business. 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. No law enforcement agency (not the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Federal Bureau of Investigation, or any other agency) 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 will never ask for a Social Security number, bank or credit card account number, money or donations, or anything on behalf of a political party. Their robust cyber-security program incorporates industry best practices and federal security standards for encrypting data.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every ten years. Completing the census is mandatory, it is a way to participate in our democracy and say, “I count!” PSL residents should take pride in standing up and being counted. Since it’s only a decennial occurrence, everyone benefits when we take part in our patriotic duty to make the census a success.
These ready-to-use resources are available for download:
- Census.gov. Census 101: What You Need to Know. 2019. (Available in Spanish)
- Census.gov. How the 2020 Census will invite everyone to respond. 2019. (Available in Spanish)
- American Library Association. Libraries Guide to the 2020 Census.
- Census.gov. 2020 Census and Confidentiality. 2019.
Responding to the census is easier than ever. You can complete the census questionnaire online, by phone, or by mail.
United States Census Bureau. Census 101: What you need to know. www.census.gov/partners