In the 2020 census, everyone counts, literally. The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place. 

Alice Wingo, vice president of affiliates from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, said, “As the 2020 census approaches, it is important to remember that data collected is used to distribute more than $900 billion in federal funds each year and determines the number of congressional districts for each state. The Missouri state demographer estimates the state lost out on more than $8 billion in federal funds over 10 years because of a low count in 2010.”

After each census, state officials redraw the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts, adapting to population. The data is also used to reapportion the House of Representatives, as it determines how many seats each state gets. The census will only collect basic information about the people who live in a household. Strict federal laws protect residents’ responses. 

The U.S. Census Bureau will follow up in person with households that haven’t responded to the census. Households will receive a notice in the mail inviting them to complete the census online.

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