Every 10 years since 1790, every resident of the United States is required to complete a U.S. Census survey.
So far, 51.9% of Mississippians have responded to the 2020 census, most of them completing the form online.
The official count, mandated in the U.S. Constitution, impacts how Mississippi and other states will draw its voting districts and how many congressional representatives the state will send to Washington, D.C. to represent its interests. More important to Mississippi is that the census determines how much money will flow into the state from federal coffers for everything from education to infrastructure to public assistance programs and much more.
“For every person who is not counted, our state will be shortchanged by about $50,000 over the next 10 years,” wrote Gov. Tate Reeves on the Mississippi Census 2020 website. “For example, if there are 4 people living in your house, and you account for those 4 people, they represent on average $200,000 in federal funding Mississippi will get over the next 10 years for roads, bridges, schools, medical programs and support for children. Think about that. If just one person can fill it out for your household, it makes a difference for all of us.”
Mississippi relies on federal funds for nearly 45% of its budgetary needs, according to the Mississippi Center for Public Policy, and an accurate census count ensures those funds will continue to come into the state.
“In the last census in 2010, over 265,000 of us were not counted. Based on the numbers above, if this happens again, we will miss out on up to $13.2 billion dollars for our state,” Reeves added.
To complete the census, go online to 2020census.gov, call 1-844-330-2020 or complete the form that was sent to your home. The deadline is October 31.See a typo? Report it here.