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Self-Responding to the 2020 Census is More Important than Ever for Montana

Respond at my2020census.gov or 1-844-330-2020

Monday, March 30, 2020/Categories: Community Development Division, Montana Housing, Market MT

Fill out your Census

HELENA, Mont. –  All Montanans can now fill out their 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail – even without receiving an official invitation to participate. The 2020 Census is available to fill out now online at my2020census.gov, by phone at 1-844-330-2020, or via mail if a household has received a paper questionnaire.

With the U.S. Census Bureau suspending all field operations across the nation due to COVID-19, it is critical that Montanans self-respond to the 2020 Census questionnaire, even if the household has not received their 12-digit Census ID code.

In Montana, more than 35 percent of homes do not receive mail at a traditional household address, which leaves many Montanans at risk of being undercounted because the U.S. Census Bureau does not mail to post office boxes or rural route addresses. The U.S. Census Bureau will not be in contact with these households until they restart their door-to-door operations. This means a large portion of Montana will not receive U.S. Census Bureau communication or reminders to fill out their form until much later than planned.

Montanans who have not received their Census ID can simply start the online questionnaire and then select the option “If you do not have a Census ID, click here” or call in their response. This option will ask one additional question about where a respondent will be on April 1, 2020 and then participants will be able to fill out the remainder of their form.

The live self-response rate map, which the U.S. Census Bureau updates daily, shows Montana as one of the states with the lowest self-response rates. This is due in-part to the large share of P.O. boxes and rural route addresses in Montana.

Counting everyone in Montana is critical because it determines the state’s share of federal funding over the next decade, it shapes local voting districts, and it determines whether Montana will get another representative in Congress.

Montana receives an estimated $2 billion in federal funds each year based on Census data. For every Montana resident counted, a Census study estimates the state will receive $20,000 over the decade for things like schools, healthcare and highways.

Learn more at CENSUS.MT.GOV.

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