When Larry the Cucumber and Daniel Tiger talk about the census, children listen

(U.S.) – The United States Census is taking place this year and officials are leaning on beloved TV heroes to explain to kids what it all means.

The United States Census Bureau announced earlier this month that videos are now available, in addition to other resources, featuring childhood heroes. Officials explained in an article that “children love to see their favorite characters on TV, online, and in books. Often these characters can teach them key lessons like how to brush their teeth, get ready for bed, and take care of younger siblings. Now, the U.S. Census Bureau is using a similar approach to teach tots and their parents about the importance of counting everyone – especially young children – in the 2020 Census. “

The federal agency has teamed up with children-focused groups from Nickelodeon to Wonderama, and Molly of Denali and Daniel Tiger. Officials explained that back in March, Nickelodeon launched a multiplatform campaign designed to build awareness about why it is important to count kids and babies in the 2020 Census. Announcements featured a lineup of Nickelodeon’s beloved characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, The Casagrandes, Paw Patrol, and others. Officials noted that when kids learn from their favorite TV characters “they’re more likely to hear the message of being counted and make sure their parents know to count them.”

So why does it matter?

Officials explained that the Census results inform decisions for the next 10 years for programs and services including those that affect children such as schools, libraries, and nutrition assistance. However, reports indicate time and time again that young children tend to be among groups historically undercounted in decennial censuses. Officials indicated in the 2010 Census there was a net undercount of nearly 1 million, 4.6%, of children under the age of five. This marked young children as one of the largest population groups undercounted in the country.


Beloved characters from VeggieTales teamed up with the Census Bureau to create this video that explains the 2020 Census in a way that is both fun and easy for children to understand. The video takes young viewers through several scenes in which characters talk about the 2020 Census and why it is so important. And of course, it all ends with a catchy sig-and dance-along, “Everyone Counts.”

Beloved Sesame Street favorites also joined in on the fun as a long-time Census Bureau partner. The Count was actually in Ohio back in February where he visited the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland to encourage children to be counted.

The Census Bureau also noted a goal to spread the word on its Statistics in Schools website, which is an educational program powered by the Burau. There, parents and educators can access a series of Dr. Seuss coloring pages designed to stress the importance of counting everyone in the 2020 Census.

How to county young children

The Census Bureau provided the following information regarding how to go about counting young children.

  • Count children in the home where they live and sleep most of the time, even if their parents do not live there.
  • If children divide their time between more than one household, count them where they stay most often. If they evenly divide their time or you don’t know where they stay most often, count them where they were staying on April 1.
  • If a child’s family (or guardian) was or is temporarily staying somewhere and plans to return to their former address, count the child at their usual residence.
  • If a child’s family (or guardian) has moved permanently after April 1, count children at the address where they lived on April 1.
  • Count children in your home if they do not have a permanent place to live and were staying in your home on April 1, even if they were only staying with you temporarily.
  • Count babies born on or before April 1 at the home where they live and sleep most of the time (even if they were still in the hospital on April 1).

For more resources to engage with children about the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov/en/educators.


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