“I know that a lot of people sometimes think, ‘why should I take the time to fill out the census, why does the government need to know this information?’ And they really do need to know,” Elizabeth Jonasson from the Census Complete Count Committee in Fresno, California explained to Univision News.
“Everything we mean when we say federal money, federal resources and even state resources has to do with the census and is based on how big the population is in a certain place and what the dynamics of that population are,” she added.
The census is the most important event there is to count the country’s population. Also known as the decennial census, it’s the form sent out every 10 years that determines the number of inhabitants and homes across the country.
Its results establish the numbers of seats for each state in the United States House of Representatives and redefine the legislative districts of Congress (in a process called apportionment). As well as this, all the government agencies use the results to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funding to local communities each year, according to 2017 estimates.
The census asks questions about age, sex and race as well as group living arrangements, which include the number of people who live or are staying in each home. The goal is to count everyone just once and in the right place.