During the 2010 U.S. Census, only about 65% of the people living in Superior’s North End responded to the decennial survey of America’s population.
And local officials are hoping to improve that response rate.
The Superior City Council adopted a resolution committing the city to ensure everyone is counted on April 1, Census Day. The Douglas County Board will consider a similar resolution when it meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 19.
Hundreds of federal spending programs rely on data derived from the Census. In fiscal year 2015, Wisconsin lost about $1,338 for each person not counted during the 2010 Census, according to the George Washington University Institute of Public Policy.
Invitations to participate in the U.S. Census start going out in the mail this week. Once the invitation arrives, people have three ways to respond: online, by phone or by mail. The simple questionnaire asks questions about the person who responds and every person living in their household on April 1, 2020.
Household members include friends or family members, even if they are living in the home temporarily and have no usual home elsewhere. Roommates and children living in the residence on April 1 should be included in survey responses, as well as babies born on April 1.
The results of the once-in-a-decade count are used to determine representation in the U.S. House of Representatives and inform lawmakers who draw boundaries for state legislative districts. The results also inform lawmakers, business owners and others about where services and infrastructure are needed.
Furthermore, the Census determines how hundreds of billions of federal dollars are spent on things such as highway construction, education and student loans, school meal programs, social services and employment programs.
By federal law, the information gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau is confidential and the data is only used to produce statistics.