DENVER — The Census usually doesn’t sound like the flashiest of topics. But it is something every Coloradan should participate in.
Since 2010, Colorado has seen a population boom and in order to get credit for all the transplants, a proper count is needed.
WHAT IS THE CENSUS
The Census is the federal government’s official count of people and where they live. It is conducted every ten years. 2020 is the next census year.
WHAT IS AT STAKE
Federal dollars, particularly transportation dollars, are often based off population counts. It is estimated Colorado has received more than 600,000 more residents since 2010 which means the state is entitled to more money. However, if people don’t participate, funding will stay the same.
“If we have an undercount in the Census, then we don’t get our fair share of federal dollars,” Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Denver) said.
MORE REPRESENTATION IN CONGRESS
Also at stake is more representation in Congress. If numbers hold, Colorado would likely receive another Congressional Seat – stealing a seat from a state with declining population. Another seat would also increase Colorado’s Electoral College Count — making the state more powerful in presidential elections.
“It gives us even more power in Congress,” DeGette said.
WHY THERE IS CONCERN
Traditionally it is difficult to get people to participate in the census in urban areas and since Colorado’s population has grown greatly in Metro Denver there is a worry people — particularly young people won’t participate.
There is also concern Hispanics will not participate out of fear the Trump administration will have their information — even though a citizenship question is not included on the official paperwork.
“Nobody can be deported because they are being asked census questions,” DeGette emphasized.
Workers for the census will soon go door to door to verify addresses. Workers have census badges and bags if you become suspisious. Official paperwork and online census information will be available beginning in March of 2020.
WORKING FOR THE CENSUS
If you are interested in working for the Census you can apply at 2020census.gov/jobs to apply. People can be paid around 20 dollars an hour.