As we gear up for the once-a-decade count of all people living in the United States and its territories, communities across the nation are touting the importance of the 2020 Census.
It will likely change the number of representatives Arizona sends to Congress. The state is anticipated to pick up a seat in House based on its population growth in the last decade. It definitely will result in the redrawing of election maps through redistricting.
Just as important, it determines how much the state and local communities receive in federal funding and grants, which can affect everything from school lunches to road projects.
All of these reasons illustrate why its important to ensure that our region gets a complete count.
But there’s a business aspect to the numbers collected by the U.S. Census Bureau as well.
The 2020 census is an important tool for private enterprise. Many of the most important decisions made by a business – where to locate (or relocate), expansion plans, even the mix of products and services offered can be based on information provided by the once-a-decade census.
For more granular information on economic trends, businesses can turn to the results of the annual American Community Survey (ACS), and the Economic Census of businesses, which is conducted every five years.
The ACS, sent to about 3.5 million households each year, is a much more detailed questionnaire than the decennial census, and includes questions about employment status, income, commuting, healthcare coverage, housing costs and internet use.
Meanwhile, nearly 4 million businesses of all sizes and representing most industries received a Economic Census survey in 2017 tailored to their primary business activity. The first results of the this survey are scheduled to be released later this month.
Whether it’s the massive undertaking of counting every single person living in the United States in 2020, or the more detailed information gathered by the ACS and Economic Survey questionnaires, the surveys from the U.S. Census Bureau are vital – not only so we can get our fair share of representation and tax dollars, but for our local businesses and economic vitality.