April 1, 2020 marks National Census Day in the United States.
The census is a constitutionally mandated count of each person residing in the United States held every ten years. Results of the census help shape the nation by ensuring fair representation and determining the distribution of about $675B in federal funding and grants.
Over the last ten years, Alabama has experienced slower-than-average population growth, falling from 23rd in population to 24th. This makes accurate count from this year’s census a high priority. The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama reports that based on the results of the census, Alabama is at risk of losing a seat in the House of Representatives, resulting in the loss of an electoral college vote for the state. Additionally, without an accurate count, Alabamians are at risk for the loss of federal funding. The 2010 census results provided over $13B in federal funding and grants to Alabama.
Federal funding is crucial for the City of Tuscaloosa. In 2015, roughly $1,600 in federal funding was allocated to Tuscaloosa for each person counted. With around 100,000 residents in the city, that’s about 160 million dollars of federal funding at stake.
“Federal funding benefits all of us by assisting with our education, infrastructure, healthcare opportunities, future business growth and more,” Mayor Maddox explains.
The Census is designed to measure where people live for the majority of the year. This includes out-of-state students, transient families, young children (including newborns) and citizens of foreign countries living in the United States. University students who have been relocated due to COVID-19 should be sure to mark Tuscaloosa, the place where they live for the majority of the time, as their residence.
For the first time this year, the Census is available to complete online. It can also be completed by mail or over the phone. Residents are encouraged to learn more and complete their census today at 2020Census.gov.
“I appeal to each and every resident of Tuscaloosa to take the 10 minutes to represent yourself, your family and your community, and be counted in the 2020 census.” Mayor Maddox says. “Tuscaloosa is counting on you.”