EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Census officials will be in Evansville to talk about what people need to know for the upcoming count of all Americans. This count happens just once a decade.
Tuesday night, census officials will hold a “Census in Your Community” meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. at Line Street Church of Christ in Evansville.
The census itself provides the basis for portioning out congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support local, state, and community programs.
Those kinds of programs could impact things like housing, education, transportation, employment, health care.
“Each one of those people uncounted is worth $2,000 and I don’t like distilling down into dollar figures, but each one of those persons, we lose $2,000 in revenue from the state and federal government every year," Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly explains. "So, if there’s 4,000 people that go uncounted, that’s $8 million times 10 years because you have a census every [ten] year[s] so that’s $80 million.”
According to the US Census website, all that money for the state and the federal government is based on population totals and breakdowns of sex, age, race, and other factors.
The website outlines ways in which different groups benefit from the census.
Essentially, the census collects and later reports data about America that residents can use to promote initiatives that involve legislation, quality of life, and consumer advocacy.
Businesses can use that data to decide where the best place to open new stores is, which can create jobs, and local governments use it for planning as well.
The census also has an impact at the federal level, affecting the number of representatives each state has in the House of Representatives and causing redistricting according to population shifts.
However, there are a number of people who have concerns over the census and every decade thousands of Americans go uncounted.
The top four "barriers" that they highlight on the website are: not thinking it will impact you, having trouble completing the forms, don't have time to fill it out, and I don't feel comfortable sharing that information.
According to the US Census website, census data is bound by Title 13 of United States Code which says it’s against the law to disclose any private information. Personal information, by law, is only allowed to be used for statistics.
Households will begin receiving Census documents in mid-March. Census day is set for April 1, 2020.