Importance of the 2020 Census

Published: Feb. 19, 2020 at 10:00 PM CST
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The 2020 Census has the goal of counting every person living in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories.

Right now, the U.S. Census Bureau is recruiting people for jobs to help out across the nation and creating a master list of addresses.

"What's going to happen next is about the middle of March, people will begin to see forms show up at their house,” said Kevin Iverson with the North Dakota Department of Commerce. “The Census Bureau will actually mail the first forms March 12. They will come out in a series of waves. For the other individuals that receive their mail at post office boxes, a Census Bureau Enumerator will come to that residence and drop off a form in person."

The census has nine questions including how many people live in the home, what are the names of the people, and basic information like age, race, and sex.

This information will be used to determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives and where billions of dollars of federal funding should be allocated.

"Getting an undercounted census in itself will not hurt you,” Iverson said. “It's the underfunding for your schools, underfunding for your roads, underfunding for your medicare program in that area."

For the first time, you can fill out the census online. You can also respond by phone or by mail.

After the data is collected, the Census Bureau will deliver apportionment counts to the President and Congress as required by law.