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Home Census 2020: Why it's Important

Census 2020: Why it's Important

Every ten years the United States Government conducts a survey of the population. This Constitutionally mandated event started in 1790 and only had four questions; the 2020 Census will have nine basic questions.

It is important for all North Dakota residents to answer the census. The information from this survey is used in many ways. Businesses use the demographic content to determine new locations based on population and workforce needs. Developers use the data when building new homes or investing in historic areas. Municipalities benefit from the return of tax dollars in the form of federal funding for schools, housing, and transportation. NDSU uses census data to estimate class sizes of future freshmen, and student loan funds are allocated based on census information.

Census Facts

  • In 2015, North Dakota received $1.45 billion in federal based on Census data.
  • One missed resident costs the state of North Dakota $19,100 in federal funds.
  • There is no question regarding citizenship or immigration status.
  • The census counts all residents, including non-citizens and international students.
  • Your personal information is legally protected and cannot be released for 72 years.
  • Students living in dorms, Greek houses, and other university housing do not need to fill out a form – but they will be counted.
  • Students who live off campus, and not with parents, need to fill out a form.
  • Census jobs in North Dakota pay $18.00-$21.00 per hour! Learn more here.

As a Federal Depository Library, NDSU Libraries provide access to historical and current census data, as well as assistance for those completing the current form. According to Government Information Librarian Susanne Caro, “It is important that all residents are counted, not just for the allocation of funds, but also to have an accurate picture of who are as a state. In the future, people will look to this information to see how far we have come and how we have changed.” Caro oversees the Libraries’ government document collections including North Dakota state documents and federal documents. She is the liaison to faculty and students regarding the use of the collection.

If you have questions regarding the census, see the Libraries guide, visit North Dakota’s website, or contact susanne.caro@ndsu.edu for more information.

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