Counting on You: Why the Census Matters

Another decade, another census around the corner. This year, each citizen of the United States is asked to complete the census to count our population and determine the needs of each area. This survey will help determine the new political landscape and give the government a sense of who makes up this country. 

According to Article I of the United States Constitution (section II, to be exact), the government must count its population once every ten years. These numbers will be used to determine the number of members each state will receive in the House of Representatives, and therefore the number of electors in the Electoral College. It can also affect redistricting within states and drawing new lines for each state representative. In addition to enumeration, the census can also help determine how funding is allocated to communities for improvements in public health, education, transportation, and more.  The Census Bureau was created to count the population every decade on years ending in zero and enlists the help of many citizens to complete its goal. 

All answers will be completely anonymous and protected by the Census Bureau. The citizenship question was stopped by the Supreme Court, but it is currently under review by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Without the census, local communities would fall apart. There would be no way to determine where funding is needed and what needs more attention. States would suffer in representation in Congress. Emergency services would not have a way to identify citizens in case of a disaster. While it seems like a hassle to complete this survey, it is vitally important to the local community. 

In addition to filling out the census, students have the opportunity to work for the Census Bureau this summer. The Census Bureau is accepting applications for a wide range of jobs, including recruiting assistants, office operations supervisors, clerks, census field supervisors, and census takers. These jobs pay between $16 and $19 per hour and will give students good work experience that could shine on a resume. 

This summer while you’re taking a break from school work, take a moment to fill out the census for your household. It takes only a few minutes and can impact the next ten years in the community. Information about filling out the survey can be found on the Census Bureau’s website. 

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