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The North Dakota State Department of Commerce is trying to reach a population that may not participate in the census.
FARGO, N.D. — In April, the U.S. will conduct its constitutionally mandated 10 year census to determine the country’s population.
“The census only happens every 10 years and we wanted to raise awareness and raise the knowledge of the importance of completing the census and the impact, the positive impact it has on North Dakota and North Dakota residents and North Dakota programs that come from the federal government,” says Louise Dardis, Census 2020 Coacher.
Those who usually would benefit the most in being counted are often the ones that are the hardest to count like minority populations, those in poverty, recent migrants and those who live in rural areas.
“It’s typically been people from what we call frontier communities and those are communities or counties in which there are fewer than 6 people per square mile and they have a little less tendency to feel that they need to complete the census because of what impact is it going to have for us. But it those make an impact because the money collected from the Federal Government is based on head counts. And if you don’t complete the census and it’s only 10 questions then that money does not come to North Dakota,” she says.
The Department of Commerce is trying to reach that audience and let them know how important it is to participate and how beneficial it would be to them.
Because of the amount of people they have been able to reach, this next census will be a historic one.
“They should definitely ask questions and receive the information as to why is it important to participate,” says State Rep. Cindy Schreiber-Beck.
“Obviously a person that does not participate and possibly because they don’t understand why or they think that they’re personal information is not being held closely, but it is,” she adds.
Households will receive a postcard with instructions for filling out the census beginning in March.
North Dakota is expected to have a population of more than seven hundred thousand for the first time in 2020.