The Ekalaka Eagle - Your Community Builder

By Beth Epley
Eastern Plains Economic Development Corporation 

Why the census matters

 

August 14, 2020



An accurate and complete count of all Montanans is critical for determining the federal funding distributed to the state. Overall, more than $2 billion from 300 federal programs is allocated back to Montana based on Census information. The Census count also shapes local voting and school districts, and it determines whether Montana will receive a second seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Without an accurate Census count, Montana risks having other states get some of our state's fair share of funding. Missing only one resident means that a community misses up to $20,000 over the next decade. More than $2 billion from 300 federal programs is allocated back to Montana based on Census information. That includes more than $500,000 annually in funding for highways, water and wastewater, housing and other infrastructure programs.

Currently, Carter County has a 37.7% self-response rate. This is primarily because the census does not utilize PO Boxes for the surveys so rural communities are at a distinct disadvantage. In addition, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the deadline to complete the census has been shortened by one month with all responses, whether online, over the phone or by mail completed by September 30, 2020.

Montanans who have not yet responded to the 2020 Census can do so by going to MY2020CENSUS.GOV, by calling 1-844-330-2020, or by mailing in their Census form if they received one in the mail.

 

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