Why should I fill out the Census? What good will it do for me or my community? What is the Census and how does it benefit me and my community?

The Census is so much more than a government form to be filled out. With four key functions – reapportionment, redistricting, demographic data and government resource allocation – the Census serves as a resource that determines a slew of different forces within our democracy.

Based on increases or decreases in population from one decade to the next, the number of a state’s congressional district may shift, impacting the number of representatives in the US Congress. Census data also determines how congressional and state legislature districts are drawn; as population within districts changes, the district boundaries also have to change so that each one has roughly the same population.

In addition, Census data also provides a portrait of who we are as a nation, which in turn helps us to decide where and how to direct resources. With the help of Census data, more than $400 billion is funneled across the nation to fund programs in the arenas of public health, education and infrastructure.

Production Team: Lisa Blackstone, Joe Demko, Terry Gray, Robert Hutchings, Jim Kron, Eric Pagel, Michael Phillips


This story was created in collaboration with the Minnesota State Demographic Center as part of In It Together.