Who Counts in the Census? Everyone!

Jan 8, 2020


One of the most common questions to prepare for during the census is, “Who do I count?” If there is a human being living in your house for the majority of the time, you count them in your household. Grandparents, children, friends, siblings, cousins, spouses, significant others — count them all!

A common misconception about the census is to only count the blood-relatives living in a household, or to only count the permanent residents, but if a human being is living in a house as of Census Day on April 1, 2020, and has no other home where they spend more time, they need to be counted at that address regardless of familial relations.

Children are one of the most difficult complete counts to achieve each census. Some people don’t realize the responsibility is up to them. They might think their children’s schools are in charge of taking a count, or it might not occur to them that the census isn’t “just for grown-ups.” Whatever the reason, it’s important to remind your library patrons to count the kids living in their household — infants, toddlers, tweens, and teens — just as they also need to count every adult living in their household. Youth Services Librarians and School Librarians can find more resources to share with your patrons at our Wyoming State Library Census 2020 webpage.

Some groups have special circumstances for being counted, such as military members, inmates, long-term care patients, and off-at-college students, that make the average household count a little tricky. Luckily, the Census Bureau has a webpage especially for finding answers to these questions. Click here for more information.

Why does this simple, little question matter to your library? Every person counts, which means every community — big and small — counts, too! All our Wyoming communities count on accurate statistics and populations in order to provide appropriate funding and opportunities, including funding and opportunities for each and every library across the state. Did you know an average of $900,000 per year in recent federal funding for Wyoming libraries has been based on census numbers? More Wyoming residents counted means more funding for Wyoming libraries!

This year is the first census offers online completion, and patrons may be reaching out to their local library for internet and computer resources. Through training in your library, overall census awareness, and promotion in your community, we can help Wyoming achieve a Complete Count


If you have a question about this or any other article, please contact us at statelibrary@wyo.gov

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