Census 2020: From why it's important to online availability, here's what you need to know

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KABC) -- Starting on March 12, residents will be asked to participate in the decennial 2020 Census. An approximate 10-minute questionnaire will be distributed to residents and will make a lasting impact in communities for years to come.

The information collected will determine how many seats each state will have in the House of Representatives and the amount of federal funds to allocate to specific communities. These federal budgets are intended to contribute to schools, hospitals, roads and highways.

"For schools, it's used to plan hospitals, how many firemen we need, funding for our roads," said Patricia Ramos, U.S. Census Bureau representative.

This is the first year individuals will be able to respond to the survey online - a stark difference from the first census in 1790 which was done by foot or horseback and recorded on animal skins.

The online option allows participants to respond in up to 60 languages.

There are also options to participate over the phone or by mail.

The survey will include nine questions about you and others who live in the residence. The information is for statistical purposes only and there will not be a citizenship questions.

"Responses to the U.S. Census and the 2020 Census are protected by federal law," Ramos said.

The results collected from the census are not reported to any other agency in the U.S. local or state.

If a response is not received by early May, residents can expect a knock on their door by one of the many employees the U.S. Census Bureau is hiring.

"The Census will never ask for your Social Security number. We will never ask for your banking information, credit card number," Ramos said.

The bureau is still looking for possible applicants with diverse language skills. The pay varies by county. In Los Angeles County, the job is paying $25 per hour, according to Ramos.

To apply, visit 2020census.gov/jobs. There will also be a recruiting event in Inglewood this Saturday.
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