Census count affects funding for education, health care, legislative boundaries and more
This spring, the U.S. Census Bureau is conducting the decennial census across the nation. This event has occurred every 10 years since 1790 and plays a tremendous role in shaping our nation.
The goal is simple: to account for every living person in the U.S. born or living on or before April 1. The more people who are accounted for, the more U.S. representatives for the state and the more federal funding communities get.
Every North Dakotan needs to be counted
North Dakotans’ participation in the census helps determine your community’s share of federal funds that were collected through federal taxes – more than $675 billion each year.
Over the course of the decade, each person counted brings approximately $19,100 in our federal tax dollars back to North Dakota. If one household in North Dakota is missed, that means that $44,312 that would have otherwise come to our state to help support critical education, health care and infrastructure programs, like Medicaid, Head Start or highway construction, will instead go to states like California or New York.
North Dakota’s most recent estimate for population was 762,062 as of July 1, 2019, up from 672,591
This was the first time in 100 years that the first digit changed from 6 to 7 in residents in North Dakota. Nationally, the Census Bureau estimates that nearly 1 million children were missed in the 2010 census, as they were not included in the household response.
We also know that nationwide 4.9 percent of Native Americans living on reservations were not counted. North Dakota’s prorated share would be more than 900 additional individuals not counted. Combined, these two groups alone probably cost the state nearly $34 million in lost funds this decade. Funds that could have been used for schools, roads, health care, etc.
What will I be asked to share on 2020 census forms?
The U.S. census takes just 10 minutes to complete, and responses should reflect where you spend most of the year – not where you physically are on Census Day (April 1) or where you claim residency in 2020.
The census is only collecting data about:
• How many people reside in or are staying at your home on April 1, 2020
• Whether the home is owned or rented
• The age, sex and race of the person
• The relationship of each person you’re counting to you
The census will never ask you for:
• Your Social Security number
• Money or donations – the census is free!
• Your political affiliation
• Bank or credit card account numbers
Your personal information is kept confidential
Security and privacy are number one with the collection of census data. The Census Bureau is bound by federal law to protect our information, and:
• The U.S. Census Bureau will never share your personal information with any other government agency, organization or private group
• Responses are compiled with information from other homes to produce statistics, which never identify your home or any person in your home
• Your unique census data is kept private for 72 years, which is the average lifespan
What 2020 census activity will I see in my community?
In order to ensure that North Dakotans are being counted properly, the state has created a statewide task force and is beginning marketing efforts to all our communities.
More information about the 2020 census and its impacts on North Dakota, as well as information on how you can get involved in helping with the complete count efforts, can be found at ndcensus2020.com or by contacting the ND census office at 701-328-5385.