The Rundown: Census 101

On Thursday, April 9th, Run Women Run partnered with Planned Parenthood Pacific Southwest to host a webinar regarding the importance of the U.S. Census. 

The talk was moderated by Mabi Castro, Community and Government Relations Operations Manager for Planned Parenthood, who was joined by Judy Howell, Planned Parenthood Community Advocate and Run Women Run Board Member, and Karen Borja, Director of Community Affairs for Planned Parenthood, Riverside. 

What is the U.S. Census? 

The U.S. Census is a questionnaire issued by the federal government every ten years to acquire data on the populations living in different communities across the country. 

Why is the U.S. Census Important? 

Data generated by responses provided in the Census are used to determine new congressional districts for political representation and allocate federal funding and resources to the regions that need it. 

If response rates in a certain region are particularly low, the region will be at risk of being undercounted. If a region is undercounted, the consequences can include reduced federal funding and lack of government support of public education, Medicare and Medicaid, highway planning and construction, housing, and other resources in the area. 

How to Complete the U.S. Census: 

The Census can be completed through paper form, over the phone or online. It is available in thirteen different languages and must be completed between March and August 14th. The process is quick and takes little time to complete. 

To fill the Census out online, go to and enter the 12-digit code you received in the mail. If for whatever reason, you never received a code in the mail, there is an option to select if you don’t have one. After entering the code, simply follow the instructions to answer the questions concerning the members living in your household. 

*Any data you provide will be kept completely confidential and not be made public under any circumstances. The Census is completely safe, secure, and will ultimately benefit your community. 

How You Can Help: 

  • Remind your family members and friends to fill out their Census. 
  • Discuss why it’s such an important social responsibility within your social circle. 
  • Volunteer at to call households to see if they’ve filled out the Census yet. 


Being counted is a civic responsibility. It is up to us to make sure that our communities are properly accounted for. 

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