This year marks an event that only comes around every ten years. We are not talking about a total solar eclipse or a comet sighting; no, we are talking about the 2020 US Census. While you may think that the census only helps the federal government, it provides numerous benefits to every citizen. Continue reading to find out what the census can do for you.
What is the Purpose of the Census?
The purpose of the US Census is to get an accurate headcount of everyone who lives in the United States and its five territories. Since 1790, the US Census ensures that our representation in the US House of Representatives matches the number of individuals living in each area. The beauty of the census is that the framers of the Constitution decided that instead of using wealth or land as the basis of power, that population should be used instead. The census, therefore, is a cornerstone of our democracy and is written into our Constitution.
Why is the Census Important to Me?
While the census helps to ensure sufficient representation in government, it is also essential to helping leaders such as lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and doctors make critical decisions. These decisions trickle down to every man, woman, and child in the country, state, county, and city.
For individuals living in Jefferson County, TN, the census is paramount for allocating federal funds. Schools, hospitals, fire departments, and public works receive funding from the government based on these numbers. When more people have access to healthcare and education, it enhances the standard of living and draws more people to the area. This federal funding also helps pay for the maintenance of roads and parks, enhancing the county’s overall appeal.
The census data is also used at the state level to make decisions on how much money should be spent for Medicaid, housing vouchers, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the Families First program, and educational programs. By obtaining an accurate headcount, state and local governments ensure there is enough money for these services and that people with a physical or mental disability don’t get left out in the cold.
The census is also used by state and local officials to draw boundaries for congressional, state legislative, and school districts. These boundary districts can help improve access to critical services and prevent overcrowded school systems.
Access to Products You Need
By determining the average age of an area, stores can more accurately gauge the products they need to have available on their shelves. Statistics can also help businesses decide what type of experience customers prefer, giving you products and services that are better tailored to your community’s tastes and preferences.
How the Census Helps Jefferson County Tennessee
As any entrepreneur can tell you, data is vital to any business, whether it is a restaurant needing to order food or a manufacturing facility planning for capacity. Likewise, companies can use population statistics to make decisions about hiring or opening new stores or offices.
Make Business Decisions
Additionally, businesses can capture import marketing data from the census, such as identifying potential customers, discovering how many live in an area, finding similar companies, or determining what competitors are paying employees.
Access to Statistics
Many people do not realize that they have free access to decades of census data about Jefferson County. The Census Business Builder is a suite of online tools provided by census.gov and provides demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau. This useful set of tools gives business owners and analysts access to robust local statistics on everything from consumer spending to building permits.
Adding Jobs and New Businesses
Businesses will use the census responses to decide if they should hire more workers, open new factories, and expand operations. The 2020 Census responses will help Jefferson County in Tennessee grow by adding more jobs and new businesses to our thriving community.
Census: Fill it Out!
As you can see, the census affects all citizens living in the US and is critical to our way of life. Because of its importance, everyone is required by law to fill out their information. Refusal to answer the census carries a $100 fine, and giving false information is punishable by a $500 fine. It is amazingly easy to fill out census information and only takes about 5 minutes. Additionally, the Census Bureau is required by law to protect personal information, so your responses are anonymous and used only in the creation of statistics.
If you have not already replied to the 2020 Census, census workers may have visited your residence in May to gather the necessary information. Additionally, you can fill out the 2020 US Census online as well.
If you have additional questions on how Jefferson County uses Census data or you need access to research data about the area, feel free to contact us online or visit our Research and Data page.