Doña Ana County

2020 U.S. Census

2020 U.S. Census

The 2020 U.S. Census is an opportunity for all Doña Ana county residents to be counted. The Census aims to include all members of Doña Ana County, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, or place of birth. Census data will be used for the next ten years to make sure Doña Ana County residents are fairly represented in state and federal government. Additionally, that the County, and other incorporated governments such as the City of Las Cruces, City of Sunland Park, City of Anthony, Town of Mesilla, and the Village of Hatch, receives its fair share of federal and state funding for local programs such as education, health care, infrastructure, and housing.

 

On This Page

On November 13, 2018, the Board of County Commissioners approved Resolution 2018-117 establishing a Complete Count Committee to ensure that all Doña Ana County residents participate in the 2020 U.S. Census. See Committee section below for further detail.


What is the Census?

The Decennial Census (Census) is a full count of all people who live in the United States. The Census is conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every ten years, and is mandated under Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution.

After acquiring data from households in the U.S., the Census Bureau aggregates the data to protect individual identities and disseminates the results to the President, the states, and the American people.  It should be noted that the U.S. Census Bureau’s commitment to data stewardship—protecting respondent privacy and confidentiality at every stage of the data lifecycle—is grounded in law that is straightforward, robust, and strong. From the time the Census Bureau collect the data, through processing, publication and storage, the Bureau is bound by Title 13 of the United States Code to ensure that information about any specific individual, household, or business is never revealed, even indirectly through their published statistics
Census data are most prominently used to:

  • Apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives

  • Redistrict at the federal, state, and local levels

  • Provide statistical support for grant applications

  • Help communities, like the Doña Ana County, plan for future needs

  • Distribute over $675 billion federal dollars to state and local governments, which directly benefit all residents.

  • In New Mexico, in Fiscal Year 2016, slightly over $7.8 billion was received by local governments and residents in the state through 55 federal spending programs from data from the 2010 Census. The allocated funds are distributed based on statistics from the Decennial Census.  Below is an example of such programs:

  • Medicaid

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

  • Highway Planning and Construction

  • Medicare Part B

  • Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies

  • National School Lunch Program

  • Special Education Grants/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

  • Head Start/Early Head Start

  • Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers

  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program

  • Health Center Programs (Community, Migrant, Homeless, Public Housing)

  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)

  • Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program (Project-based)

The complete list from the George Washington Institute of Public Policy of allocated federal funding to New Mexico can be viewed at https://gwipp.gwu.edu/sites/g/files/zaxdzs2181/f/downloads/IPP-1819 3%20CountingforDollars_NM.pdf.

The Census Bureau continually innovates its data collection processes to improve the accuracy of their data and reduce the burden on residents. For more information on the 2020 Census, visit the U.S. Census Bureau webpage

How will the Census affect me?

Around March 2020, all residential addresses will receive a form in the mail from the Census Bureau asking for information on all residents living in your household, including all family members and non-family members who are living with you. Residents may respond by mail, online, or over the phone depending on their preference. Census Day is April 1, 2020; households that have not participated in the Census by this point may be contacted by a Census Bureau representative. It should be noted having the federal government deploy Census Bureau representatives costs all of us more money than taking a few moments to complete the Census on April 1, 2010.

Any information you share with the Census Bureau is strictly confidential. By law the Census Bureau cannot share individual responses with anyone, including any court of law, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Internal Revenue Service, state or federal welfare departments, or governments and programs. The Census Bureau only uses individual responses to produce summary statistics, which further protects individuals from being identified inadvertently.

The Census Bureau is currently hiring representatives to support the 2020 Census. For more information on employment opportunities, visit the U.S. Census Bureau webage.


Timeline and Important Dates

By April 1, 2020, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You'll have three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.  

Counting every person living in the United States is a massive undertaking, and efforts begin years in advance. Here's a look at some of the key dates along the way:
 

  • January – March 2019: The U.S. Census Bureau opens 40 area census offices. These offices open early to support Address Canvassing.

  • June – September 2019: The Census Bureau opens the remaining 206 area census offices. The offices support and manage the census takers who work all over the country to conduct the census.

  • August 2019: The Census Bureau conducts in-field address canvassing. Census takers visit areas that have added or lost housing in recent years to ensure that the Census Bureau's address list is up to date.

  • January 2020: The Census Bureau begins counting the population in remote Alaska.

  • April 1, 2020: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, households will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. You'll then have three options for responding: online, by mail, or by phone.

  • April 2020: Census takers begin following up with households around selected colleges and universities. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews.

  • May 2020: The Census Bureau begins following up with households that have not responded.

  • December 2020: The Census Bureau delivers apportionment counts to the president.

  
April 1, 2020, marks Census Day, a key benchmark for the 2020 count. When completing the census, you'll note where you are living on April 1.

Mission and Composition

The purpose of the 2020 Census Complete Count Committee is to encourage all Doña Ana County residents to participate in the 2020 Census by developing and implementing an outreach strategy focused especially on communities that have been historically undercounted; families with children under the age of 5; renter households; Black or African American residents; and Hispanic residents.

Composition:
The Committee is comprised of approximately 40 members representing local government, neighborhood civic associations; media; health organizations; schools; businesses; community-based organizations; faith-based; community leaders; and non-profits.

Committee members were selected based on experience working with one or more historically undercounted communities; knowledge of how historically undercounted communities perceive government entities; and/or working directly with trusted messengers in historically undercounted communities.


Background

The U.S. Constitution requires the Federal Government to conduct a national census every ten years. The next Census will be on April 1, 2020. To make this census as accurate a count of the country's population as possible, the U.S. Census Bureau has requested that local governments establish complete count committees to encourage local residents to participate in the Census.   
An undercount for 2020 will have three effects for Doña Ana County. First, County residents will be underrepresented during reapportionment of U.S. House of Representatives seats. Second, it will mean less money from the Federal Government, which distributes certain monetary grants based on Census data. For example, Head Start funding is allocated based on the number of low-income children in a jurisdiction. Third, an accurate census count allows Doña Ana County, the City of Las Cruces, the City of Sunland Park, City of Anthony, Town of Mesilla, and the Village of Hatch to plan its programs, services and land use with more confidence and accuracy. The ability to plan is further jeopardized because future periodic, between-census American Community Surveys will use the 2020 U.S. Census as a base; if the base is inaccurate, the data from future surveys will also be inaccurate.   

The Census Bureau identified hard-to-count tracts based on the share of households that mailed back their census questionnaires in 2010. A tract is considered “hard to count” if fewer than 73 percent of households returned their completed questionnaires. Hard-to-count tracts are located around Doña Ana County. The map is located at https://www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us/.
At a national level, certain demographic groups are more likely to be undercounted. The undercount was highest among minorities with an 2.06% undercount of the nation’s non-Hispanic Black population and a 1.54% of the nation’s Hispanic population. Renters were undercounted by 1.09%, and children under the age of 4 were undercounted by 0.72%. As a result, minorities, renters, and families with children especially should be targets of the 2020 Complete Count Committee's efforts.


Resources