In early 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will begin a massive, months-long effort to count every person living in the U.S. “once, only once, and in the right place.” This demographic information will be used to determine how more than $675 billion in federal funding is distributed to states and communities.
The State Demographer’s Office has estimated the Montevideo population to be 5,287 as of April 1, 2018. The final 2010 Census count was 5,383, with an estimated participation rate of 85%. According to the Census Bureau, a 2020 Census count beneath 5,000 could lead to a significant decrease in local funding.
Preparations are underway by the City of Montevideo to ensure a high response rate. A Complete Count Committee, headed by Community Center Coordinator Tracy Wellendorf, has formed to educate and motivate residents to participate in the 2020 Census.
“It’s really important because it helps fund our schools, emergency management, our infrastructure, and helps us accurately plan our utility services,” said Wellendorf. 2020 Census information will also be used to determine the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts, as well as school districts.
In the below interview, we chat with Wellendorf about the address canvassing operations happening now across Chippewa County. We also discuss temporary employment opportunities with the Census Bureau, Census response options, and Census data privacy.
Montevideo residents interested in joining the Complete Count Committee are encouraged to call Wellendorf at 320-269-9375.