Every Person Counts!
Every ten years, the United States undergoes a process to record information about the population of the United States. This process and report is called the Census. The Census is a crucial part of how our country works politically and economically, which is why it is so important that every individual participates.
In preparation for the Census, it is also important for local governments to do their part and for the state government to allocate adequate funding to ensure a complete and accurate count. The results of the U.S. Census could impact the future of Minnesota and our local communities.
The Census is used for:
Apportionment of members of Congress
Minnesota is in danger of losing a seat in Congress. An accurate census count ensures Minnesota has the best chance to keep all eight of its congressional districts for the United States House of Representatives.
Apportionment of Electoral College votes
Just as Minnesota might lose a congressional seat, we might also lose an Electoral College vote.
Population counts for redrawing voting districts
Failure to have an accurate population count can adversely affect equal democratic representation for Minnesotans.
Allocation of federal resources, including money
Each individual not counted in the census could mean lost federal funding for up to $1,530 per person per year for Minnesota.
Estimating population growth for demographic and economic reports
Accurate counts allow the state of Minnesota and local governments to make informed planning and policy decisions for housing, transit, health services, business development, and more.
What kinds of funding does Minnesota receive based on census data?
According to USASpending.gov, Minnesota agencies received over $462 billion in grants, payments, and loans from the federal government for various federal programs from FY 2008 to FY 2018. These programs, including Social Security, Medicaid, Highway Planning and Construction, and Section 8 Housing, help countless Minnesotans. This funding relies on accurate census data; a low census count would result in less funding available to Minnesota.
For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave Minnesota almost $2.4 billion for the National School Lunch Program from FY 2008 to FY 2018, which helps feed children in every corner of the state. The state received over $52 million for Block Grants for Community Mental Health Services which helps build and support community-based public mental health system for adults with serious mental illness (SMI) and children with severe emotional disturbance (SED).
Greater Minnesota highly benefits from an accurate census count. Across the country, major rural targeted programs that are guided by census data total about $30 billion a year. In FY 2016, Minnesota received $665,005,600 for six rural assistance programs, including Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans, Rural Electrification Loans & Loan Guarantees, Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities, Rural Rental Assistance Payments, Business and Industry Loans, and Cooperative Extension Service.