Everything you need to know about census participation.
What is The Census?
Every 10 years, the U.S. conducts a national survey so the government can obtain an official count of the population. Every resident of the country is lawfully required to participate in the census. If you’re a veteran or active-duty service member living in the United States, you should have already received (two) invitations: one for the 2020 Census, and another for the American Community Survey (ACS).
What is The AMERICAN COMMUNITY SURVEY?
The ACS launched ahead of the 2010 Census in an effort to make the census more efficient. Prior to 2010, questions related to military service were included on our census questionnaire. Today, these questions are asked separately through the ACS, which aims to learn more about our nation’s demography.
If you received a Census form and an ACS form, you must complete both before the scheduled deadlines. Your information is necessary to secure funding for veterans in the years to come.
Why is Census Participation important?
ACS surveys are conducted once per month, while the national census occurs once every 10 years. These surveys are opportunities for veterans and transitioning active-duty service members to communicate information that helps the government allocate fiscal support in a responsible manner.
Allocation of Funding
Data obtained from the census enables all levels of the government to determine how much money to pour into programs serving the military community
Support for Veterans
2020 census data will determine the next decade’s worth of support for disabled and unemployed veterans
Prioritization of Programs
Schools, road maintenance, city infrastructure, and social assistance are some of the most essential programs funded based on census info
Information obtained from the census will provide a foundation to innovate and develop new programs that assist veterans
Number of Veterans in The U.S.
According to the Census Bureau’s most recent statistics, there are approximately 18 million veterans living across the country, of which 1.8 million reside in California. The population of veterans is most dense in Southern California, i.e. San Diego, Los Angeles, Imperial, Riverside, and Orange Counties.
Number of Veterans in California
How Many People Join The Military Each Year?
Approximately 150,000 men and women enlist in the U.S. military every single year. To put it in perspective, California is home to almost 130,000 active-duty service members at any given time, meaning we have the largest population of both veterans and active-duty military personnel in the whole country.
In fact, California is the only state that has four military installations with 10,000+ active military personnel living on-base. These are (1) Travis Air Force Base, (2) Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, (3) North Island San Diego Naval Air Station, and (4) San Diego Naval Station.¹
Active-Duty Service Members in California
The 2020 Census will highlight the needs of Post-9/11 veterans, as well as those who served in earlier decades. Primary areas of concern among this military cohort will likely include⁴:
Access to Quality Healthcare
To address mental and physiological issues, especially in the wake of COVID-19
Better Job Availability
Workforce integration and help translating military experience to civilian careers
Greater Veteran Benefits
Improved Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits and opportunities for higher education
Programs for spouses, children & caregivers while deployed and post-discharge
Even if you decide to relocate outside of California, your participation matters. A service member may decide to move into California for the duration of their transition or beyond, so it’s important to pay it forward.
Due to COVID-19, the deadline for individual responses is extended through October 31st, 2020. If you’re ready to complete your survey, you can access the Census Form here.