2020 Census: Why is it important?

Photo of a census employee on the sidewalk with her laptop open.

Image curtosey of the u.s. census bureau

In April 2020, the U.S. census data will be gathered for the 24th time in our nation’s history. While you may hear that it is crucial every person is counted, you may wonder what it is used for. GESMN is here with census 101.

What is the census?

Every 10 years every resident in the United States is counted, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds. This money supports your community directly impacting housing, education, transportation and more. The 2020 census will offer online submissions for the first time.

How does the census benefit me?

Federal funds, grants and support are based on population totals and breakdowns of many demographics. In order to receive the most amount of funding for your community, everyone must be counted.

What’s at stake in the 2020 census?

Minnesota is at risk of losing a seat in congress if its population does not grow fast enough. It is even more important this time around that every Minnesotan is counted to ensure we have just representation in Washington.

Almost $8.5 billion per year is allocated to Minnesota based on the data collected from the census. This comes out to about $1,500 per person per year. Since the census is taken every 10 years, for each uncounted resident Minnesota could lose $15,000.

Why nonprofit engagement?

Nonprofit organizations, like Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota, have a unique role to play in a complete census count. We are trusted allies with historically undercounted communities through our established service delivery relationships. GESMN is part of the Minnesota Census Mobilization Partnership. This cross-sector collaboration is working together to advocate for policies and resources with the goal of a fully inclusive, honest and accurate 2020 Census in Minnesota.

What do I need to do?

  • Post about the 2020 Census on your social media platforms using the hashtags: #WeCountMN #NonprofitsCount #OurMNCensus
  • Join or form a Complete Count Committee in your region! You can find a list of MN CCCs on the MN State Demographics Center website.

Looking for a job? The census bureau is hiring thousands of workers in communities around the U.S. Find open jobs by state at www.census.gov/fieldjobs.

 

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