The Census is coming!

Date: Thursday, January 23, 2020

The 2020 Census is approaching in less than 10 weeks. A complete and accurate census count is crucial for funding from the federal and state governments. The information is confidential for all individual respondents for 72 years.

In March 2020, every household will receive an invitation to complete a simple questionnaire. You may respond in one of three ways:

  • Online/mobile
  • By phone call
  • Sending back the census form by mail

The Census is not something that households can ignore. Residents who do not respond to the first mailing will receive four additional mailings. Then, starting in May, local Census workers will begin visiting addresses that continue to have a “non-responding” status. These follow-up visits will take place through August 2020.

Census information for rental property owners

At stake: Funding for critical programs; seat in Congress

The stakes are high. Census data guide distribution of government resources, services and infrastructure investment for programs like Medicaid, highway planning and construction, education, and workforce development. One person is equivalent to approximately $2,800 per year in federal funding.

At Met Council, researchers consider the once-per-decade counts to be the most localized and exact measurement of where people are living.

“Our forecasts and annual population estimates for the next 9 years will all be based on and benchmarked to the Census count,” said Todd Graham, forecaster at the Council. And those subsequent calculations become the basis for local government aid and transportation investments from the state and other governments.

Finally, without a complete count, Minnesota could lose a seat in Congress, warns Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer. If that were to happen, our remaining seven congressional districts would be reconfigured, essentially diluting our representation in Washington D.C.

Responding to the Census@work

Some companies and cities see civic engagement and responsibility as a priority and have joined the Census@work initiative. Local business and government leaders are pledging their support for the census by giving time for employees to respond to the census by filling out the paper form, calling by phone, or responding online.

More information on the 2020 Census

Posted In: Communities, Council News

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