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The 10-year Census will be beginning very soon and it’s important for everyone to be counted.

“When the Census arrives in the mail, fill it out over the internet, on the phone, or fill out the paper copy and mail it in. Starting in May, if you still haven’t filled it out, a Census taker will be coming to your home to gather the information. Everyone counts,” said Ford County Board Chairman Robert Lindgren. “The Constitution says to count all people — both citizens and noncitizens — living in the United States.”

The questions include: how many people live in the household, if the home is owned or rented, age, name, gender, ethnicity, and telephone number. 

This information is held confidentially by the U.S. Census Bureau for 72 years, and is then and only then released by the National Archives, he said. It would be against the law for the Census Bureau to release any information about people before this. The 1950 Census is the next Census to be released in April of 2022. There will be genealogists, historians, and researchers eagerly awaiting the new information. This time span means that every person can be completely honest about their answers, he said.

  “Sometime this month you will be getting your first mailing at your home, whether you are a renter or an owner. There will be a code on the mailing that is unique to your address. For the first time in the history of the Census, you will be able to complete the Census online, over the phone, or the traditional paper version of past Censuses.”

Lindgren gave some background, “The Census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790. The first Census was under the presidency of George Washington and was managed by Thomas Jefferson. The Census is in the U.S. Constitution. Every person living in the United States needs to be counted…. everyone. It is likely that if you haven’t been seeing commercials on T.V. or hearing about the Census on the radio, you are going to soon.

“The 2020 Census is your census, and its success depends on you. It’s a once-in-a-decade chance to inform how billions of dollars in funding are allocated for critical public services like hospitals and health care clinics, schools and education programs, roads and bridges, and emergency response for the next 10 years," explained Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham. "Through advertising, public events, partnerships and digital and traditional media, we are embarking on a nationwide effort to let everyone in the country know about the upcoming 2020 Census and encourage them to respond online, by phone or by mail.”

“As mentioned by Steven Dillingham,” Lindgren said, “the Census helps determine funding that will come to the State and to the counties. There are 132 programs whose funding is based on Census data. A few programs include Medicare Part B, Federal Pell Grant, National School Lunch, Title 1 Grants, Head Start, Low-Income Home Energy Assistance, Unemployment insurance, Crime Victim Assistance, Career and Technical Education, Special Education Grants, Cooperative Extension Services, Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program, State Wildlife Grants, Hunter Education and Safety Programs, Roads and Bridges. Other outcomes of the Census include determining the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives, whether congressional, state, and local district boundaries need to be redrawn, planning  for new roads, hospitals, schools, and other public sector investments. Detailed population information is also critical for emergency response in the wake of disaster.”