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Upcoming Event in Cleveland Highlights Importance of Counting Kids

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The U.S. Census Bureau is joining forces with schools and national partners to help ensure the 2020 Census counts all children living in the United States.

The Census Bureau will highlight this effort at a kid-friendly event Feb. 22, at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio, designed to raise awareness about the importance of counting everyone – including young children – in the census.

Being counted in the census impacts critical childhood services for the next 10 years.

It will be joined by national and local partners, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Rainey Institute and Shore Cultural Centre of Cleveland, and the Cleveland Public Library.

The Census Bureau has formed partnerships with national and local organizations across the country.

According to the Census Bureau, an estimated 1 million children under the age of 5 were not counted in the last decennial census. Young children are also at risk of not being counted in the 2020 Census, especially those with complex living arrangements like dividing their time between divorced parents or living with multiple families under one roof.

Consider this: A newborn or toddler counted in the 2020 Census will be finishing elementary school in time for the 2030 Census. Being counted in the census impacts critical childhood services for the next 10 years.

Results of the 2020 Census will inform federal funds that communities receive for services including those that benefit children, such as Head Start, special education, after-school programs, school lunch assistance, children’s health insurance, child care, and housing support.

A Family Festival in Cleveland

The family festival will feature a coloring corner with materials that tie Dr. Seuss themes to the 2020 Census as well as other fun activities throughout the day, such as hula dancing from Pacific Entertainment, a local Census Bureau partner.

Families attending the event will also receive free admission to the Great Lakes Science Center.

Why Are Young Children Missed?

There are many reasons young children are undercounted in the census. Research shows that children living with large, extended families or with multiple families under one roof are at greater risk of being missed. These children may have more than one home and may not be related to the person responding to the census for their household.

Children living in linguistically isolated or low-income households and those who recently moved may also be missed in the count. Babies under 3 months old may be at an even higher risk of not being counted.

Where to Count Children in the 2020 Census

Here are Census Bureau guidelines for counting children:

  • Count them in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents do not live there.
  • If a child splits time between two homes, count them where they stay most often. If their time is evenly divided, or you don’t know, count them where they are staying on April 1, 2020.
  • If a child moves during March or April 2020, count them at the address where they are living on April 1, 2020.
  • Count children that do not have a permanent place to live and are staying with you on April 1, 2020, even if they are only staying temporarily.
  • Count newborns at the home where they will live and sleep most of the time, even if they are still in the hospital on April 1, 2020.

How Schools and Parents Can Help

The Census Bureau is also working with schools and educators across the country who play a key role in making sure all children are counted.

The Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools (SIS) program has developed a suite of materials designed for children under age 5 to be used in a classroom or at home.

Among them: a storybook about the census, a fun and engaging video series, classroom activities, and an upbeat song about the census. Many of the materials are available in English and Spanish. The SIS program provides materials for students through grade 12 — and for adults learning English as a second language.

Parents and educators can also learn more about the importance of counting young children in this fact sheet and this FAQ document.

Preparing for the 2020 Census

Beginning in mid-March, almost all households in the United States will receive invitations to respond to the 2020 Census. For the first time, everyone will be invited to respond online or by phone or mail. For more information, visit 2020census.gov.



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