Census 2020 and What it Means for Cape Girardeau

Content submitted by Deputy City Manager Molly Mehner

Mark your calendars!  We are less than a year away from Census Day 2020 which falls on April 1, 2020.  And while Census Day falls on April Fools…it is no laughing matter! 

The Census is critically important to our community.  Mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts the Population and Housing Census every 10 years. 

It is so important to count every single person living in our City.  The data collected determines how many representatives each state has in Congress and can result in redrawing congressional district boundaries. Census data is also used as the basis for distributing more than $675 billion to states, counties, and communities to support resources such as schools, hospitals, and fire departments.  The Census data is also useful for informing business decisions, public policy, community initiatives, and consumer advocacy. 

The City of Cape Girardeau began preparations for the 2020 Census more than a year ago by participating in the LUCA program – the Local Update of Census Addresses.  This ensures the Census Bureau has a complete and accurate list of all addresses within the City boundaries.  We also participate in the annual Boundary and Annexation Survey program so the Census Bureau has the most current city boundaries in their system. 

In the remainder of 2019, the City will begin to ramp up public education to inform and educate our citizens about the upcoming Census and why it is important to be counted.  This will be the first Census people can respond online!  Replying by mail or phone will also be an option.  The Census Bureau will deploy Census workers in the summer of 2020 to go door-to-door to count those people who have not responded yet. 

You can help, too!  Start discussing the upcoming Census with your friends in family so they know what to expect and understand why it is important to be counted.   Also, if you know anyone interested in becoming a Census worker – have them apply now at https://2020census.gov/en/jobs OR call 1-855-JOB-2020.  The Census Bureau is currently hiring for a variety of temporary jobs, including census takers, recruiting assistants, office staff, and supervisory staff. 

Learn about all the Census data available and how it can even help us do our jobs as public servants better.  The amount of information available on the Census website is astounding!  Check it out and look for the tabs “Browse by Topic” and “Explore Data” at: https://www.census.gov/partners/2020.html 

Look for more information on the 2020 Census in the coming months! Let’s Count Cape Girardeau!