Importance of the 2020 Census is stressed to county commissioners

Just how important the upcoming 2020 Census is was stressed at the Dec. 13 Randolph County Board of Commissioners meeting.

Rebecca Robinson, who is the U.S. Census Bureau’s partnership specialist serving nine area counties including Randolph, was on hand to discuss the matter with the commissioners.

“The census is who we are as a country,” she stated. “Our founding fathers said every 10 years we’ll do a head count.”

The United States Constitution requires that a population count is conducted each decade. This information is used to determine how many representatives each state gets in Congress; is used to redraw district boundaries; provide statistics to communities so they can pay for residents needs including roads, schools and emergency services; and the federal government distributes more than $675 billion to states and communities based on census data.

Specifically, 16 federal funding streams are affected by the census. “This will affect the next 10 years of funding,” Robinson stated, adding that this simple population count provides funding for police, fire departments, hospitals, roads and more. “Not participating is leaving money on the table.”

Census day is April 1, 2020. Most households will receive an invitation to participate in the census in March. Participants can then respond online, by mail or on the phone. A reminder postcard will go out in late March/early April. Paper questionnaires will be sent out in mid-April, and final reminder postcards will go out in late April.

For more from the Board of Commissioners meeting, please see this week’s print edition.