Census Gift Card

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Provided by Prince William County

Interested in winning a $50 gift card? Just complete three tasks regarding the 2020 U.S. Census Challenge on Beanstack to be eligible. Beanstack is an app that encourages people to read more.

Rachel Johnson is the Prince William County Library System’s communication services division chief. She said that the Library System created six virtual challenges on the Beanstack platform. “The library set up six easy challenges. Complete three of them and enter to win a gift card.”

The challenges include:

  • completing the 2020 Census online or by mail;
  • reminding a friend, family member or neighbor about the 2020 Census;
  • spreading the word about the 2020 Census on social media;
  • and visiting the 2020 Census website.

The challenge, which runs through April 30, is an easy way to get people involved with the Census, Johnson said. “It’s a fun way to encourage adults to complete the Census with an incentive and to encourage others to complete it as well. We’re [doing]our part as a library to educate the general public about the importance of the Census.”

Johnson said the Beanstack app is available for iPhone or Android smart phones. Or, people can sign up on their computers at the Library System’s home page and click on “Census Challenge.”

About the Census

The U.S. Census is required by law every 10 years to count every person in the United States. Census data determines representation in the U.S. Congress. The data also determines how much federal money jurisdictions receive for education, emergency services, transportation and other infrastructure projects.

The county is setting up for the next steps in getting people involved in the U.S. Census, according to County Demographer Brian Engelmann.

“We are planning for the second part of our Census promotion effort. … [This] will involve keeping folks engaged on social media and streaming platforms… [We’ll] … get messaging directly to residents through trusted voices,” Engelmann said. “The messaging will be targeted to low-response areas.”


Engelmann said Virginia’s response rate is the eighth highest in the nation, which is good, taking COVID-19 into account. Still, the COVID-19 pandemic has set the Census timeline back. Responses to the Census were originally due by July 31 of this year, and are now due by Oct. 31.

“The Census Bureau plans to station staff members at low-response and highly trafficked areas with tablets to help people respond electronically… [T]hat has been delayed until further notice,” Engelmann said.

According to the 2020 Census website, the Census Bureau planned to deliver the final counts of each state’s population to the President by Dec. 31, 2020. That is now scheduled to occur by April 30, 2021.

Engelmann said Virginia’s response rate is good. As of April 15, Prince William County’s response rate stood at 58.1 percent. That is well above the national response rate of 49.1 percent. Prince William County’s rate is also higher than the response rate for Virginia, which sits at 54.4 percent.

More information about the 2020 Census is available at pwgov.org/census


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