The Census is coming – be counted! Respond to the mailing in March

Note: In the February Camden Community News Linda Stewart reported on the “who, what, where and why’s” of the 2020 United States Census. The Census officially kicks off April 1 but this year folks can fill out their forms early online. Watch your mailboxes this March – the U.S. Census Bureau is sending you a postcard with info on how to complete the Census online. Census info is used to draw federal, state and local legislative districts. It’s also used to plan government services and guide distribution of more than $800 billion in federal funds. This is your opportunity to make sure we folks living on the Northside will get funds for affordable housing, transportation, health services, schools,  jobs and so much more. Linda Stewart follows up this month with more Census info. Find more info at and

Every 10 years, the U.S. Government is required to take a count of people in the United States. The 2020 Census will count how many people and where they are living as of April 1. The Census is critically important and needs to include all residents, regardless of their citizenship.

To understand the importance of the Census, you need to understand how the U.S. Congress is constructed for the 50 states. 

100 U.S. Senators = 50 states with two senators for each state. Provides for equal representation in the U.S. Senate regardless of the state’s percentage of the U.S. population. Senators are elected for six-year terms.

435 U.S. Representatives = one allocated to 435 districts across the country based on each state’s population. Total number of representatives does not change with the Census, but how many each state gets can change. Representatives are elected for two-year terms.

Since the number of districts in each state can change with each Census, some states will have fewer districts/representatives and some states will get more after the 2020 Census. Each state must have at least one member in the House of Representatives. 

California, the most populated state, has 53 representatives; Texas is in 2nd place with 36. 

Those with only one representative are Wyoming, Alaska, Vermont, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Delaware.

Minnesota is one of four states with eight legislative districts (see map). The concentration of people in the Twin Cities area results in 5 of the 8 districts being in the extended metropolitan area, with a representative elected by the citizens in each district.  The remaining three districts cover a large portion of the state, with a proportionate number of residents.

With this in mind, it is important that all residents across the state complete the Census when the mailing comes in March. If Minnesota is to retain their eight districts, then our Census count will need to accurately reflect the number of people living in the state – regardless of their nationality or eligibility to vote. 

So, why do we need each household to complete the Census? If our residents don’t fill out the Census completely we risk losing a representative in the U.S. Congress. Each representative has a vote for bills, and losing a vote could affect our collective voice in Washington D.C.; we risk losing an electoral college vote, which could make the difference in a presidential election; and we risk losing some of the federal funding for health coverage (Medicare) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which will hurt the most vulnerable in our community. 

Please do your part. Fill out the census.

Info on Minnesota State Income and Spending

FY 2020-21 November Forecast
E-12 Education $20.1 billion  
Property Tax Aids & Credits 3.9 billion  
Health &Human Services 14.7 billion  
DebtService 1.1 billion  
Other 8.7 billion  
Total Spending $48.5 billion  

For the 2018-2019 budget, Minnesota expected to received $45 billion from the following sources:

Individual Income Tax       53.7%

Sales Tax                              24.9%

Corporate Income Tax        5.8%

Statewide Property Tax       3.7%

Other Non-Tax Revenue     2.4%

Tobacco Payments               0.7%

Other Tax Revenue              8.0%

Other Sources                       0.8%

Total                                   100.0%