- 09 Mar
Did you know that the the U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years? The results are used to adjust or redraw electoral districts, based on where populations have increased or decreased. State legislatures, or independent bipartisan commissions, are responsible for redrawing congressional districts and determining the number of seats each state has in the house of representatives. The U.S. Census Bureau provides states with population counts for this purpose.
Some of us may not want to bother responding to the Census, not realizing that there is a huge benefit for all of us to do so. In fact, are you aware that the 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, as well as federal funding and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade?
Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use this data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.
The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP, hospitals, fire departments, police and other critical programs.
The 2020 Census will be valuable to businesses, as the results will provide a rich set of data on the communities they serve, including population trends and growth projections. Business owners rely on census results to make decisions, such as where to open new stores, restaurants, factories, or offices, where to expand operations, where to recruit employees, and which products and services to offer.
As you can see, the Census is an extremely important tool that benefits us all, and everyone should make it a point to respond. In mid-March, homes across the country will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. Instructions for doing so will be provided in the mailing. Please look out for this and let the country know you wanted to be counted!