The U.S. Census Bureau announced it has completed the release of its 2020 Census platform (tagline and logo) for 12 languages in addition to English.
The “Shape your future. START HERE.” platform is incorporated across Census Bureau outreach and partnership awareness materials and will become more visible as the 2020 Census advertising campaign launches in January 2020.
The creative platform will help guide outreach efforts planned by states, local communities and nonprofit organizations.
The new logos and taglines were developed in Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Tagalog, Polish, French, Haitian Creole, Portuguese and Japanese.
The 12 languages match the non-English languages supported for the 2020 Census internet and phone response options. English and those 12 languages cover more than 99% of all households in the United States and its jurisdictions.
In addition, a new logo was released to support outreach to the Native Hawaiian Pacific islander population, the organization said.
“We undertook an unprecedented amount of research to help us learn more about what potential barriers, attitudes and motivators different multicultural communities have about participating in the upcoming census,” said Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham.
“The ‘Shape your future. START HERE.’ platform arose from that research and is now being adapted to help us reach limited-English-speaking households about the importance of the 2020 Census,” he said.
“This is a critical component of our effort to achieve a complete and accurate count in every community across the country,” Dillingham said.
As promotional and outreach activities ramp up across the nation ahead of the 2020 Census — from establishing state and local complete count committees, to diverse partners coming together to reduce the undercount of children and other historically hard-to-count populations — the Census Bureau is making this platform available to everyone, working to create messages that resonate with non-English-speaking audiences.
The Census Bureau and communications contractor VMLY&R (Team Y&R) adapted the “Shape your future. START HERE.” concept in the 12 non-English languages (as well as for the American Indian and Alaska Native communities).
Carlos Carbonell, strategic planning director of VML Y&R Puerto Rico, said, “We believe this message will help the Puerto Rican community understand why the census is important, how easy it is to respond, and how urgent it is that we fill out the questionnaire on time.”
This is the third decennial census to include a dedicated advertising and communications operation. In the 2000 and 2010 Censuses, the Census Bureau also utilized advertising, partnership and communications campaigns to increase awareness and participation in the count.
Higher self-response rates increase the accuracy of the census and save taxpayer money by lowering census follow-up costs for nonresponding households, Census officials said.
The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census of the population be conducted once every 10 years for the purpose of reapportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Census data are also used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funds are distributed annually to states and local communities for services and infrastructure, including health care, jobs, schools, roads and businesses.