I PROBABLY WASN’T paying attention in school during social studies class.

I was aware that the United States Census is conducted every 10 years. So that means we’re due for another one in 2020.

But did you know that it’s the U.S. Constitution that requires the Census to be taken every 10 years?

Joan Stylianos' Heart of Nashua column sig

And the reason for that is that the data “determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities,” according to the famous bureau.

To be more specific, the U.S. Census counts every resident in the United States. It is mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the Constitution. It’s known as the Decennial Census of Population and Housing.

So, how does it work? By next April 1, the Census Bureau will send a large envelope with instructions or a door knocker to every U.S. household.

For the first time ever, the 2020 count will allow U.S. households to respond online. Don’t worry, you can still use a paper form. And here’s another first: you will be able to call a 1-800 number to give your responses over the phone if you’d prefer using that method.

If you have filled out a Census form before, then you know the drill. And here are a few basics you will be asked about.

The number of people living or staying in a home on April 1, 2020.

Whether the home is owned with or without a mortgage, rented or occupied without rent.

The name, sex, age, date of birth and race of each person in the home.

A phone number for a person in the home.

The Trump administration unsuccessfully tried to get this question included in the 2020 census, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”

But the federal courts blocked it, and the Supreme Court agreed with the lower courts, calling the administration’s reasoning “contrived.”

Don’t laugh, but I had a brief stint with the U.S. Census Bureau as a field worker toward the end of college during late spring one year. My job was to interview Nashua citizens, validate residency and gather economic data for the U.S. Census Bureau. I wore a little badge and carried the necessary documents and knocked on doors.

I thought I looked somewhat “official.” I had one or two people slam the door in my face (haha), but other than that, it was a fun, temporary job and safe at the time.

If you are looking for a Census job, the Nashua Public Library is holding several job fairs on the following Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Nov. 21 (today), Dec. 12 and 19, Jan. 16 and 30, Feb. 6 and 20, and March 3.

The hours are flexible, and the pay is up to $18 per hour on a temporary basis for a U.S. Census job.

For more information, contact the Nashua Public Library’s Carol Luers Eyman, the Outreach and Marketing Librarian at 603-589-4610. Or you can email her at carol.eyman@nashualibrary.org.

Nashua Public Library is located at 2 Court St.

Here’s to the count, everyone!