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Why the 2020 Census is important

  • 1 min to read

Census data is critical in helping to make decisions that will fuel our community’s future success.

Using the data collected in the 2020 Census will help Sanford and Lee County in determining tax policies, forecasting transportation needs in our area, plan land use and make decisions about training the workforce. The data also determines how many representatives states have in Congress and is used in establishing boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts.

Census data also helps determine the amount of money we received for our public resources such as roads, schools and senior centers and in requesting government funding and grants for local projects and initiatives.

“More than $675 billion in federal spending is distributed each year to communities across the country based on census data,” according to U.S. Census officials. “Specifically, census data can affect the allocation of federal assistance distributed under the Medical Assistance Program, highway planning and construction, Title 1 grants to local educational agencies and temporary assistance to needy families.”

The slogan for the 2020 Census is “Count Everyone Once, Only Once and in the Right Place.” That reflects the difficulty of taking the population count in a rapidly changing environment, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

To ensure communities receive the funding and resources needed to thrive, it’s important that everyone participate in the 2020 Census.

Census data is safe, secure and protected by federal law, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The answers are used only in statistics and cannot be used against respondents in any way.

Under Title 13 of the U.S. Code, the Census Bureau cannot release any identifiable information about individuals, households or businesses, even to law enforcement agencies. All employees of the Census Bureau take an oath to protect a person’s personal information; a violation can result in a penalty of up to $250,000 and up to five years in prison, according to the agency.

“Conducting a census is a massive and vitally important undertaking,” according to census.gov. Sanford-Lee County needs your help to ensure a complete and accurate count. Whatever time and resources you can commit, you can make a difference. There are many ways you can get involved, such as using company newsletters, blogs, social media or inviting Census Bureau officials to speak at your next event or civic club. That helps to make everyone aware of the benefits of participating in the 2020 Census.

The U.S. Census is looking for census takers and positions are available in the Lee County area. Pay starts $14.50 an hour and workers are reimbursed 58 cents per mile for mileage. To apply, go to 2020CENSUS.GOV/JOBS.