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Get Ready to be Counted 

The next census is coming on April Fools’ Day, 2020

Gov. Kate Brown kicked off preparations for the 2020 Census in Oregon Monday, proclaiming April 1, 2020 as Census Day. Census counters will begin knocking on doors and sending letters to U.S. homes as early as January next year.

Counting people in Central Oregon will likely reveal what many already know: The area has experienced explosive growth since the last census.

According to the last census in 2010, Bend’s population was 74,639. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimate was 94,520 for Bend—an estimated population surge of 20,000 in just seven years.

Portland State University’s College of Urban and Public Affairs Population Research Center had a slightly more conservative estimate, however, putting its July 1, 2018 certified population estimate for Bend at 89,505.

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“The 2020 Census is the foundation of our democracy and an integral component of making sure that families across Oregon have the resources they need to thrive,” Brown stated in Monday's release. “I am committed to working with both public and private partners across Oregon to make sure we have a fair and accurate census.”

The first census occurred in 1790. Since that first census, the need for useful information about the United States' population and economy became increasingly evident, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s historical information.

The decennial census steadily expanded throughout the 19th century. By the turn of the century, the demographic, agricultural, and economic segments of the decennial census collected information on hundreds of topics.

Currently, the census is used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, define legislative districts, issue school district assignment areas and apportion the federal budget. For the first time in the history of the census, 2020's census will allow people will be able to respond online.

The Census Bureau aims to count every person who lives in the U.S. — regardless of citizenship. This year, some lawmakers have aimed to remove the question of whether a person is a citizen from the census, in an effort to get a more accurate count. The thinking is, if a household is not asked about their citizenship status, they'll respond more accurately, without fear of retribution. 
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