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What is the Census?

The U.S. Census has been conducted every ten years since 1790. Every decade, we account for everyone living in Georgia so we can prepare for the years to come. The 2020 Census will be historical because it is the first census that will be filled out largely online. Read below to learn more about how the Census affects you, your community, and the entire state of Georgia.


The Barrow County School System's funding is directly related to the Census count. It is very important Barrow citizens participate in the Census to get the most accurate population count and maximum funding for our school system. Here's how it works:

  • School systems receive their core funding from state and local governments.
  • The Federal Government provides supplemental funding, which is based on data from the Census.

If our community is not fully counted in the 2020 Census, your children could miss out on the educational resources they need and deserve. State and federal decision makers rely on census data to figure out where new schools are needed and where hundreds of billions of dollars in federal and state spending will go to help pay for teachers, textbooks, and other educational expenses. Will those dollars be allocated to Barrow County? 

Last year, Barrow County School System received over $4 million dollars in supplemental federal funding. 

Did you know Georgia received more than $23.8 billion through 55 federal programs in Federal Fiscal Year 2016?

That is over $2,300 per Georgian!

When is Census 2020?

Census Day is April 1, 2020, but the online tool will start accepting responses in mid-March.

Why is the Census so important?

The Census is the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support vital programs - impacting education, housing, transportation, employment, health care, and public policy. Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Our community will benefit when the census counts each and every one of us.

How does the Census impact Barrow County School System?

Past Census counts have undercounted children, and it will benefit our schools to encourage participation. The Census count impacts the federal funds communities receive each year for programs and services that are critical for schools, students, and younger children, such as:

  • Classroom learning supplies, books, classroom technology and software, plus additional staff, such as elementary paraprofessionals and instructional coaches.
  • Special education and after-school programs.
  • Food assistance, including free and reduced-price school lunches. (Did you know that every BCSS student receives a free breakfast every day?)
  • Our Pre-K program receives lots of support from Census data. Children that are under the age of 5 must be counted to ensure this program continues to be funded. Learn more about Counting Young Children.

For more information, visit "Why 2020 Matters for Schools" here.

How can you help?

  • Complete your family's Census when it is available in March and April. 
  • Talk about the importance of the Census.
  • Place Census flyers in your business.
  • Share social media posts on the Barrow County School System social media accounts to your personal page.
  • Include a message in your organization's newsletter and link to this page.
  • Promote the Census on your business marquee.
  • Share this page on your social media.

Is my information safe?

By law, information you provide on the Census is confidential. Learn more about Census confidentiality. Learn more about how the Census Bureau protects your data

Learn how to avoid fraud and scams around the Census as well. Learn more

How do I respond to the Census?

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, by phone, or in person to a census enumerator. To learn more about how Census 2020 will invite everyone to respond, review the graphics below.

All public libraries in Barrow County have computers and high-speed Internet access available for people to complete the Census. Find your closest library here.

The Census helps us know how many children we should expect in classrooms for the next decade and how many police officers to hire in growing communities.

How Census Invites Everyone 1
How Census invites everyone 2

Statistics in Schools (SIS) Week: March 2nd - 6th

This weeklong series of fun classroom activities is prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau's Statistics in Schools (SIS) Program to educate students about the importance of the once-a decade count. Statistics in School is:

  • Teacher-designed. Teachers helped create and review each activity to make sure it is valuable and engaging.
  • Easy to use. Materials are free, easily customized, and supportive of existing lesson plans.
  • Valuable. SIS enhances learning, boosts statistical literacy, and prepares students for a data-driven world.

Learn more

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