Håfa adai, Guåhan!

In a data-driven world, census statistics have the capacity to impact our community for future generations. Every 10 years, residents of Guam have the opportunity to influence how federal money is distributed for community initiatives and other services that will help shape our island’s future. Participating in the 2020 Census of Guam is your chance to influence how these decisions are made.

The mission of the 2020 Census of Guam is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. Central to this task are the questions being asked of every resident that make each household unique. Residents are asked basic questions about each member of their household, including their name, age and gender. However, during the interview, there are additional questions residents are asked related to transportation, housing, education, internet access and other topics that offer insight into how Guam has changed over the previous decade.

Questions related to transportation, including where an individual works and the number and type of vehicles owned, are used to create statistics about commuting and to generate statistics for planning improvements to roads and emergency response rates. Questions regarding the educational attainment of each household member, including the highest level of school completed, are asked to create statistics about school enrollment, which are analyzed to determine the needs of school-age children.

During the interview, residents will be asked several housing questions, such as the number of rooms and monthly utility costs. They will also be asked whether they own or rent their house, as federal and local governments use this information to identify areas eligible for housing assistance, rehabilitation loans, and other programs that help Guam residents access and afford decent, safe and sanitary housing. These statistics also assist local leaders in decisions for housing programs and planning, which include the availability of housing and changes in the size and structure of homes. Responses about access to internet and smart devices are used to determine the island’s internet usage and could potentially impact Guam’s opportunity for an online response option for the 2030 census.

Your participation in the 2020 Census of Guam will give meaning to the statistics beyond just the numbers collected. It will help develop a snapshot of our island’s population, illustrating how our culture and people have changed over the decades. And the data will reflect our continually diversified community and how we stay connected with one another.

The 2020 Census of Guam is more than just a population count. It will tell the story of who we are as a people and serve as reflection of all who call Guam home.

Not only does every response matter, so does every question.

Respond today.

Together we can make a difference.

Originally in A Letter to the Editor: The Post Guam

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