Correction: This story was updated to reflect that April 1 Census Day, not the deadline to fill out the questionnaire.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, April 1 remains the nationwide observance of Census Day.

The census is a constitutionally mandated survey that is taken every 10 years to count each person where they live as of April 1. The census is only used for data-gathering purposes, and the distributed census is confidential and anonymous.

Katy-area residents, like all people in the U.S., can fill out the 2020 questionnaire online, over the phone or by mail:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 2020 self-response rate for the state of Texas is 29.7% as of March 29.

In the Katy-area, individual census tract self-response rates range from as high as 45% to as low as 19% as of March 29. In the 2010 census, the Katy-area final response rates for census tracts ranged from 37%-86%.

Complete counts matter because the census data determines state and local funding for school lunches, small business loans, nonprofit grants, affordable housing and more. Both Harris and Fort Bend counties established Complete Count Committees to encourage all residents to fill out the census questionnaire.

“Our community benefits the most when the census counts everyone,” Judge KP George said in an email. “When everyone responds to the census, communities get their fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.”

The U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted its operations timeline due to the coronavirus, according to a March 23 news release.

Mailers were sent to residences in mid-March. The bureau initially planned to begin nonresponse followups in early April, but it later pushed that date back to early May, citing concerns for its census takers, who go to door-to-door collecting responses from nonrespondents.

The bureau plans to complete its count by mid-August, an extension from its original date of July 31, the release said.

The bureau is still on schedule to send the final counts to the president by the end of 2020 and to deliver redistricting counts to states by April 2021, it said.