Do you ever get that feeling you are just another face in the crowd? It’s time to get over that.
On April 1, 2020, the United States will conduct its constitutionally mandated decennial (10 year) census to determine the current population of the United States. Why is this important? The census count will be used to determine – among other things – how seats within the U.S. House of Representatives are divided among states and how federal funds are dispersed to each state.
While it is unlikely that North Dakota will regain a second seat in the House as a result of the 2020 Census, the estimated gain in population of more than 80,000 individuals since Census 2010 will likely lead to a shift in voting districts in the state after 2020. An accurate count is needed to make sure voting districts are truly representative of any population shifts.
Who else gains from participating in the census? Everyone does! If you drive on public roads, have children attending school or anything that uses public services or infrastructure, you have a stake in the outcome of this census. Every person needs to be counted if they reside in the state. That includes citizens and non-citizens; those here legally or not.
Unfortunately, those who tend to have the most to gain by being counted also tend to be the most difficult to count. As some people do not understand the impact of the data on their daily lives and their community, they are less likely to willingly participate. Minority populations, those in poverty, recent migrants, very rural populations and some people who just do not like the government tend to be the most difficult to count and are generally felt to be less likely to respond to the census and various Census Bureau surveys such as the American Community Survey (ACS).
The census is a way to have your voice heard, to make a difference. It’s the perfect time to be a face in the crowd.
What’s at Stake Financially
It is easy to understand the importance of the census when you look at the financial figures. In fiscal year 2015, $1,445,647,171 ($1.45 billion) in federal funds for programs like Medicaid, highway construction, Head Start, Foster Care, SNAP, Low Income Energy Assistance, Special Education and other programs were obligated in North Dakota based upon resident count from Census 2010 and subsequent annual population estimates. That means approximately $1,910 in federal funds per resident was spent that year. Of all the statistics we live with, the census count is one of the longest-lasting as the census occurs only once every 10 years. Not counting everyone can cost North Dakota dearly:
- For one missed resident - $19,100
- One missed household (average 2.32 persons) - $44,312
- A statewide census count off by just 0.1 percent - $15 million
Informed Decision Making
Governments at all levels, private sector business, non-profit groups and private citizens use census count every day to make choices in determining everything from where to build a bridge across a river to where the best place is to open a daycare. Census counts and the associated socio-economic statistics are a cornerstone of virtually all well-conceived public and private business plans. Local governments use the census for public safety and emergency preparedness. Businesses use census data to decide where to build plants, offices and stores, and create associated jobs. Developers use the census to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
Return of Resident Tax Dollars to the State
The most recent decennial census count establishes the proportional distributions for federal funds. Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Our state and communities benefit the most when every single resident is counted. When people respond to the census, they help their community obtain 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.
How Will You Help?
The U.S. Census Bureau will need at least several hundred and perhaps more than a thousand of workers in North Dakota for Census 2020. Civic minded individuals who care about their communities are needed to help in the enumeration for Census 2020.
An accurate count helps to ensure your community gets its future share of federal and state funds it needs, and your citizenry is equally represented in the legislative process. By taking a temporary position with the Census Bureau, you can participate in this truly important endeavor and serve your community.
Every year for at least the past seven years, the Census Bureau has had to hire out-of-state workers to complete their various surveys in North Dakota. Census 2020 is too important to your community in North Dakota to take for granted!
Schedule are flexible with a pay range between $15.50 and $17 an hour. No previous experience is needed. You must be 18 years old, a U.S. Citizen and complete a background check. Positions needed:
- Recruiting assistants travel throughout geographic areas to visit with community-based organizations, attend promotional events and conduct other recruiting activities.
- Office operations supervisors assist in the management of office functions and day-to-day activities in one or more functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.
- Clerks perform various administrative and clerical tasks to support various functional areas, including payroll, personnel, recruiting, field operations and support.
- Census field supervisors conduct fieldwork to support and conduct on-the-job training for census takers, and/or to follow-up in situations where census takers have confronted issues such as not gaining entry to restricted areas.
- Census takers work in the field. Some field positions require employees to work during the day to see addresses on buildings. Other field positions require interviewing the public, so employees must be available to work when people are usually at home such as in the evening and on weekends.
Links and Resources