MAYO — At its weekly meeting Oct. 30, members of the Rotary Club of Mayo heard about the importance of the upcoming U.S. Census.
Jennifer Pyle, with the U.S. Census Bureau, provided the history of the census as well as stressing the need to take the 2020 census seriously and to urge as many residents to take part as possible.
The census takes place every 10 years as is mandated by the U.S. Constitution. It was first held in 1790.
Those 10-year counts not only help determine the look of the U.S. House of Representatives — population shifts lead to additional or fewer members in the house for particular states — but also how much money local governments receive.
Federal grant funding is tied to the census results, Pyle said, adding that overall that funding equates to roughly $675 billion during that 10-year span.
Pyle said that funding could have immeasurable affects on small rural counties such as Lafayette, depending on how accurate the census count is for those areas.
When asked, Pyle told the Rotary Club that a person’s immigrant status — whether they are in the country legally or illegally — doesn’t matter for the purpose of the census. She also said that nobody, including immigrants, should fear taking part.
“Regardless of whether or not someone is here legally or illegally, they are still consuming the same resources that you and I are,” Pyle said.
She also told the Rotarians in response to another question that expecting mothers can’t count their unborn child, just themselves. Likewise, once a person is counted in the census, it doesn’t matter when they die they are part of the count for the next 10 years.