By now, if you live in the US, you’ve probably received multiple census forms in the mail and seen it advertised on local buses. If you’ve put off filling out your census response, don’t panic, you have until October to respond and here’s why you definitely should do so.
You might be asking yourself, why does the government need to know how many roommates I have? First things first, the census helps determine where federal funding is allocated. Understanding population dynamics helps ensure that money for health care, housing, child education, public transportation, and more goes where it should. This is especially important for marginalized groups such as BIPOC and POC, LGBTQ+ individuals, the poverty-stricken, and immigrants, which are disproportionately undercounted and their communities underfunded. If you don’t think government funding allocation affects you, do it for your neighbor or friend who may rely on those services.
The census also determines how many representatives your state gets. Your voice can’t be heard if it isn’t being counted. Large urban areas are historically undercounted, which means these oppressed areas aren’t getting the representation they deserve in the House of Representatives.
Lastly, the census helps small businesses thrive and business owners make operations decisions. Census information can help explain business success or closure which informs investment choices. In this way, the census ensures resources can reach the demographics that need them and promotes economic growth.
More accurate data on population dynamics helps our governments operate more efficiently and provide services for citizens. Your census response matters! And it helps provide funding, representation, and support for those who need it most. So what are you waiting for? Take ten minutes to fill out the census form today!