The U.S. Census Bureau Deputy Director will host a panel in Bozeman Monday about the upcoming 2020 Census. The Census happens every ten years and there’s a lot at stake for Montana this time around — from federal funding to another congressional seat.
“The census only occurs every ten years, but it’s a vital program that represents millions of dollars in federal funding; our voting precincts are based on it and our congressional representation,” says Mary Craigle, the census manager for Montana.
Craigle says it is estimated Montana receives about $2,000 of federal funding per person counted in the census. Right now the state’s population hovers around a million people. A higher population could lead to more funding for programs like medical assistance, affordable housing and highway planning and construction. It could also mean another seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gallatin County’s population has increased 25 percent since the last census in 2010. Bozeman could receive more federal funding if it qualifies as a small city with 50,000 people in the 2020 Census.
Craigle says the data from the census are crucial for planning.
“Figure out, you know, how big our schools should be; figure out how big our communities need to be; how many seniors we have; what kind of programs we have,” says Craigle.
She adds this will be the first time residents can answer the census questions online, by phone or via mail.
Ron Jarmin, the U.S. Census Bureau Deputy Director, will speak about the 2020 Census Monday from 1-3 PM in the Norm Asbjornson Hall at Montana State University in Bozeman.
He will be joined by MSU President Waded Cruzado, Lt. Governor Mike Cooney, Gallatin County Commissioner Scott MacFarlane and Mayor of Bozeman Cyndy Andrus.