28 Oct 2020 US Census Information
2020 U.S. CENSUS
The United States Constitution requires the government to enumerate the number of people living in the United States every 10 years, and to use that data to apportion the seats in Congress among the states.
The United States census is so much more than just a head count. It is a snapshot of America that determines how congressional seats are apportioned, how state and federal dollars are distributed, where businesses choose to ship products and where they build new stores. To do all that properly, the count needs to be accurate. An undercount of the population would have far-reaching implications. It could skew the data that are used to determine how many congressional representatives each state gets and their representation in state legislatures and local government bodies. It shapes how billions of dollars a year are allocated, including for schools and hospitals. It undermines the integrity of a wide variety of economic data and other statistics that businesses, researchers and policymakers depend on to make decisions, including the numbers that underpin the forecasts for Social Security beneficiaries. Additional programs include those that serve lower-income families, including Head Start, Medicare, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Pell grants for college and reduced-price school lunch programs. Highway spending is also apportioned according to census data.
Knowing how many people make up some type of demographic helps determine things like: planning for public transportation, analyzing trends, military potential, researching historical subject areas, planning for schools, providing genealogical research, locating factory sites and distribution centers, creating maps, planning for health services, attracting new businesses, drawing legislative districts and reapportioning seats in the House of Representatives, to name a few.
Here in Marquette County, programs and services dependent on accurate census data include whether a senior center needs to be built or expanded; if a church is able to establish and flourish; if expanding the fire or police department might be necessary; whether a senior meal distribution project should be considered; how the local school district boundaries are drawn; municipality land management and zoning; where and how much funding is needed for disaster mitigation including power outages, rain and snow extremes. The list can go on and on: assessing the labor market; distributing federal funding to various local social agencies; designing facilities for children, the disabled and elderly; analyzing road development; determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.
While the U.S. Census Bureau is required to count everyone in the country every 10 years, the benefit is for the people themselves and not the government specifically. April 1, 2020 will kick off the current 10-year cycle of the counting process which will end for this decade December 31, 2020 with (ONLY) the data being delivered to the President.