why you count

Additional Information

Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals. When you respond to the census, you help Bell County gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs. In fact, the founding fathers thought this data was so important they mandated it as part of the Constitution.

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which

may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…”

- The Constitution of the United States, Article I, Section 2.

Some ways Census data is used include:

  • Distribution of more than $675 billion annually in federal funds to tribal, state and local governments;
  • Redistricting of state legislative districts;
  • Forecasting of future transportation needs for all segments of the population; and 
  • Determining areas eligible for housing assistance.

In short, without an accurate count, Texas stands to lose more than $43 billion per year, including funds for Medicaid, SNAP, the National School Lunch Program and Section 8 Housing Vouchers - to name a few.

where you count

The Census Bureau requires you to fill out your census at your "usual residence,” which means the place where you live and sleeps most of the time. This place is not necessarily the same as your voting residence or legal residence. 

For more information and to find your Census tract, visit the U.S. Census Bureau Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM). 

how you count

The 2020 Census can be completed in one of three places:  

  1. Online
  2. By mail
  3. At your usual residence home with a Census taker

If you receive a survey or a letter in the mail from the Census Bureau, the envelope contains certain information that may help you verify its legitimacy. For example:

  • U.S. Department of Commerce in the return address. This is the Census Bureau’s parent agency.
  • Jeffersonville, Indiana in the return address. Most census and survey-related material gets mailed from and returned to the National Processing Center in Jeffersonville.

You may also receive a reminder letter from one of the U.S. Census Bureau Regional Office or the Census Bureau headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area.