In the U.S. every eight seconds a person is born and every 11 seconds a death occurs. As the population changes and with it the status of its citizens, there is a need to take a count. The U.S. Census Bureau is preparing for the next census in 2020. The U.S. Constitution requires that each decade a count - or census - be taken of the population.

Beginning in January a public response through phone, mail and online contact. This form of communication will reduce follow-up visits. On Census Day, April 1, 2020, census takers will begin visiting households that didn’t respond to the initial contact. In December the totals will be submitted. Redistricting counts will be sent by March 2021.  

The results provide vital information. It determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and is used to redraw district boundaries. Communities rely on the census statistics to plan a variety of needs including new roads, schools, and emergency services. Businesses use the data to determine where to open and shop. In addition, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on the data.

We will know the actual results once the census is complete, but in 2018, the Census Bureau estimated Williamsburg County’s population would be 30,606, up from a year before at 26,231. In 2017, the poverty level was at 26.8%.