Last fall, I started to see temporary job postings for US Census takers. The jobs paid well and advertised flexible hours. But, the postings got me thinking what is the US Census and why does it matter?
What is the US Census?
If you’ve ever worked on your family tree or watched an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? Then, you’ve heard a reference to the census data. The US Census Bureau counts every person living in the United States and in the five US territories (and yes, the US still has 5 territories!)
The bureau is a nonpartisan government agency (meaning- they have no political affiliation). Every ten years, the agency begins counting US residents through a variety of formats: online questionnaires, phone, and mail. And, just in case you were wondering the agency is mandated in the Constitution. Don’t believe me? Check out Article I, Section 2.
Why Complete the US Census?
REPRESENTATION. Before you throw out your US Census information with the junk mail, think about representation. The census provides the data that the lawmakers and federal government use to fund important projects. Funding for fire departments, roads, education, and hospitals are all determined by the data collected in the census.
The census determines the seats each locality is awarded in the US House of Representatives. Congressional and state district lines are drawn based on Census data.
Have You Completed Your US Census?
If not, you should! Just as I firmly believe that everyone over the age of 18 should exercise their right to vote in every election. I believe that every US household should complete their census data.
I completed our census data as soon as I received it via the online platform. The process was similar to taking an online survey reviewing purchases or other services.
Have you completed your US Census? If not, go do it now! I promise you won’t regret it. If you’re still looking to learn more about the US Census, check out this pamphlet that my friends at the Virginia Complete Count Commission provided me with.
- Amanda is a native of Richmond, VA. She enjoys writing, blogging, traveling, shopping, and spending time with friends and family.