It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790. Census data determines the amount of funding distributed to Virginia and Fairfax County by the Federal government. According to the Community Foundation of Northern Virginia, Fairfax County could lose $12,000 in potential funding over the course of a decade for each person who does not respond to the census. Learn more here: https://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/topics/census
Starting In mid-March, households began receiving official Census Bureau mail. All house-holds should have the information by April 1. For the first time, individuals may respond online. The official Census Bureau mailings include detailed information and a Census ID for completing your response online. Once you receive your Census ID, follow instructions to complete your responses.
Securing an accurate count is challenging for reasons such as language barriers and hard to find populations. Local governments form partnerships with community groups representing diverse racial and ethnicities to build awareness. Click here for an example of community outreach regrading Arlington County’s Complete Count Committee in conversation with Aging Matters.