The 2020 Census is rapidly approaching, and much is at stake for Montana, including millions of dollars in population-based federal funding, and the number of Montana representatives in the U.S. House. (Montana is poised to regain the House seat lost in 1990.) The census counts everyone in the United States and serves as the basis for distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support vital programs in states and communities across the country — impacting health care, housing, education, transportation, employment, and public policy. These are all issues of vital concern to our entire community and state.
At City Club Missoula on July 8, we’ll hear about plans to ensure an accurate Census 2020 count for Missoula County, including by engaging the university, and the business, faith, nonprofit, and public sectors in spreading the word to their constituencies about the importance of participation. This is especially critical in 2020, given the controversy and uncertainty surrounding the proposed addition of a citizenship question to the decennial census.
Authoritative studies estimate that every Montanan not counted will result in a loss of nearly $20,000 per person over the next decade.
We’ll also learn the role technology will play in the 2020 Census, and about efforts underway to ensure that historically hard-to-count segments of the population are effectively engaged in the count.
Karen Murphy, a US Census Partnership Specialist; and Mary Craigle, Bureau Chief of the Census and Economic Information Center (Montana Department of Commerce) will present an overview of current Census 2020 preparations, and a historical perspective of the census in Montana.