A census is an
important record that societies use to make effective decisions. Censuses
influence policies that impact the everyday lives of real people, including decisions
made in education, transportation, health, housing, and even environmental
preservation.

But the significance of censuses goes beyond that—censuses can help you piece together your family story. After all, each census entry is a story: a new birth in the family, a tragic loss since the last census, a location or occupation that shaped a family or an individual’s entire life. Here’s how you can use U.S. census records for family research.

What the 2020 Census Can Do for You

girl on the bus. the census affects transportation.

Although 2020 census will be a significant record for your future family, it also provides immediate benefits. The 2020 census gives officials and businesses an accurate idea of the lay of the land and needs of the people. Through this knowledge, officials can know how better to serve the community and provide benefits, including the following:

  • Better sanitation.
  • Businesses that fill a need in a community.
  • Effective transportation.
  • Money allocated to the right areas.
  • Schools and hospitals built and maintained.
  • Construction for needed highways.
  • Organized housing districts.

How to Participate in the Census

A boy and girl fill out the census via the phone.

This year, every
household in the United States will get an invitation to participate in the
census. You can respond to the census in various ways, depending on what you
feel most comfortable with:

Record-keeping and
storytelling have always been important, whether it was by scrawling on a cave
wall, writing on a scroll, or singing out loud through generations. A census is
one way to keep a record of our own story as a society.

FamilySearch’s work in genealogy has made us
especially grateful for those who took advantage of the census in the past. By
participating in the 2020 census, you can add to that legacy.

Source: New on FamilySearch