To begin with, I wanted to write a quick article to boil down the basic importance of the Census, in addition to 2020 being an important election year, it will be another Census year. I hope you’ll take the time to not only vote but please participate and answer all the questions on the Census as you can bet that the leftist out there will be filling out their Census.
The framers of the Constitution chose population as the basis for sharing political power, not wealth or land.
Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…”
The goal of the census is to count the entire population of the country and at the location where each person primarily resides. The census asks questions of people in homes and group living situations, including how many people live or stay in each home, and the sex, age, and race of each person. The goal is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place.
How the Census Benefits Your Community
Federal funds, grants, and support to states, counties, and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race, and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works, and other vital programs.
Additionally, businesses use census data to decide where to build factories, offices, and stores, which obviously creates jobs and everything that goes with that. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life, and consumer advocacy.
Four Key Functions of the Census
The number of congressional districts in a state may shift based on increases or decreases in population over the previous decade, which affects congressional representation and state electoral votes. This reapportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and the resulting change in electoral votes helps dictate the geographic shift in political power within the United States.
Over the past decades, congressional seats have primarily been lost in the Northeast and Midwest and reapportioned to the South and West of the country. This trend is expected to continue as the population is projected to steadily increase in the South and West parts of the United States.
Within states, the congressional and state legislative districts are redrawn based on Census data. Based on population distribution changes within states, the boundaries must shift every ten years in order to ensure each district has roughly the same population.
In most states, including Minnesota, the state legislature draws the district lines. This can present issues with partisan influence, leading to unfair districts through gerrymandering. Some states have moved toward advisory or independent committees in order to reduce partisan motivation in the redistricting process.
The Census provides a snapshot of the country, state, local areas, and on a broad level defines who we are as a nation. Demographic data helps groups from all parts of society use census information to decide where to direct their attention and resources. The census helps these groups identify areas in need of certain services, businesses, civil rights outreach, community engagement, etc.
For instance, a group advocating for ballots and voter information to be printed in languages other than English may use census data to locate populations likely to primarily speak a non-English language. Given the racial disparity in the history of voting rights, the demographic data provided by the Census is extremely important in protecting these rights.
Government Resource Allocation
Over $400 billion per year is allocated throughout the nation with help from census data, including programs such as public health, education, and infrastructure. State and local funds are often distributed based on population, meaning that every person is important when advocating for funding. The strength of census statistics and data also helps inform many public policy proposals at all levels of government.