UM Community Urged to Participate in 2020 Census

OXFORD, Miss. – University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff have an opportunity to make an impact in Oxford that will last at least 10 years by answering 10 questions in 10 minutes for the 2020 Census.

The U.S. Constitution mandates a census of the population every 10 years. The 2020 Census will count everyone living in the U.S. as of April 1, 2020. Census statistics help determine the number of seats each state holds in the U.S. House of Representatives and how billions of dollars in federal funds will be allocated by state, local and federal lawmakers every year for the next 10 years.

In the past, federal dollars directed through the Mississippi Department of Transportation helped construct bike paths, including the railroad track trail and the South Lamar and Highway 314 bike lanes, along with many other projects in the city of Oxford. Improvements slated for Jackson Avenue over the next 10 years likely will include federal funds, which are affected by the results of the 2020 Census.

“In addition to transportation needs, the census directly affects how much federal funding our community will receive for schools, housing and social programs,” said Perry Sansing, special assistant to the chancellor for governmental affairs. “Some of the programs affected include Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP.

“Businesses will look at census data when making decisions about where to locate or open new stores. It is vital that we have as high a participation rate as possible.” 

Mississippians have until Sept. 30 to participate in the 2020 Census, and the Ole Miss community can participate today by answering 10 questions to make sure they are counted.

Faculty and staff can participate in the census here by taking the questionnaire, which takes about 10 minutes to complete. Ole Miss students can read more here about the process to be correctly counted since some are not on campus or otherwise in Oxford because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the 2020 Census in Mississippi, visit