When it comes to the U.S. Census, millions of federal dollars – and Congressional reapportionment and redistricting – are at stake.
Before the 2020 Census questionnaire appears in your mailbox, the Census Bureau first needs addresses. If the Bureau doesn’t know that a new subdivision or apartment building has sprung up, residents could go uncounted. And that would mean less federal and state aid for the community.
The Census Bureau is now asking local governments for help in updating and verifying a complete database of all residential addresses. In January, the Census Bureau kicked off its Local Update of Census Addresses program. Letters were sent to all mayors, township chairpersons, and county board chairs describing this first step in 2020 Census preparation.
Sign-up period begins in July; work will be done in 2018
The signup period for local governments will run from July to December 2017. The actual work will involve local government planners and GIS professionals reviewing the Census Bureau’s address file in 2018, checking for accuracy, and supplementing the file with new or additional addresses.
Local governments that sign up will receive address files and program materials during February-April 2018. They will have 120 days to conduct their reviews and return data to the Census Bureau.
LUCA participation is voluntary, but highly recommended
“The Census count is used as a baseline for annual population estimates used by federal and state agencies,” said Todd Graham, a demographer at Metropolitan Council. “If the Census misses people, the results are felt for the next decade. And if the starting address list has holes, people might be left by waiting for a 2020 questionnaire that never arrives.”
More on the 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses Operation.
Posted In: Communities, Planning