The U.S. Census Bureau has just a few more days left to complete data collection for the 2020 Census. This event has occurred every 10 years since 1790 and plays a big role in shaping our nation. If we don’t get a complete count now, North Dakota will not have an opportunity to adjust responses until 2030.
As citizens of Williams County and proud North Dakotans, we’re striving to account for every person in our state that was alive on or before April 1. We want to ensure that every person is counted. Missing just one North Dakotan results in a loss of $19,100 over ten years that would have otherwise come to our state to help support things like education, healthcare, and infrastructure.
The slightest undercount would also result in the loss of this major funding for programs like foster care, Medicard Part B, highway construction, and SNAP. The Census helps us to plan for our future, retain political representation, and secure public funding for critical programs and projects.
Funds that are missed will go to other states, such as California or New York. Regardless of Census results, we already pay federal taxes into the system for these services, but if we are not counted, then North Dakota is overlooked when accessing those funds. A study conducted after the 2010 census found that nearly 1,000 kids and additional 900 individuals were not counted as North Dakotans. This probably cost the state nearly $34 million in lost funds over the past decade.
The Census will never ask you for your Social Security number, money or donations, your political affiliation, or bank or credit card account numbers. Data collected includes the number of people residing or staying in your home before April 1, 2020, as well as residents’ age, sex, race, and relationship to you. They do not have to be related to you to count! The Census will also ask if your home is rented or owned.
The 2020 Census is available in 13 different languages. Security and privacy are the number one priority with the collection of census data. Your unique census data is kept private for 72 years, which is the average lifespan.
This opportunity won’t come again until 2030, so let’s all complete our civic duty and help to ensure that North Dakota is properly funded and that everyone is represented by the government.
Complete the Census today in just a few minutes by visiting My2020Census.gov.
Williams County Commission Chairman