I got a note in the mail today from the Census Bureau, telling me to look out for my very own Census form. I’m pretty sure I’ve been counted in the 1990 and the 2000 Census. But this time, I’m living in my own home, and I’m in a household of two. I’m really excited. It should be in my (and your!) mailbox around March 15.
I’ve been working with the Michigan Non-Profit Complete Count Committee, and I think their guide to publicizing the census on your organization’s blog says it better than I can:
First and foremost, the Constitution of the United States mandates that every person living in the United States must be counted every 10 years. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups – citizens and noncitizens. The purpose of the census is primarily to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives based on population, but census data also are used to determine the locations for schools, housing, child-care and senior centers, shopping centers, businesses, roads and more.
Did you know that every year, the federal government distributes more than $400 billion to state, local and tribal governments based on census data? That means an accurate count of the population can result in significant improvements in the quality of life in communities all across the country. Filling out your census form is all about making sure your community gets its fair share.
Filling out the Census Form (link is to a pdf that show you a sample form) is your duty, like voting is a duty of citizenry. It helps the United States know who we are as a Nation — it wants to know about ethnicity, but doesn’t care about immigration status. It’s a beautiful thing, and the data that it collects is invaluable.
So, fill out your census form! Mail it back! Encourage other people to do the same. It’s really super important.