Census Numbers Matter For Local Municipalities

Feb 14, 2020

Credit WAOW Television

It's almost time for the 2020 census.

"The census is a constitutionally mandated process that happens every 10 years," said Missy Hughes, CEO and Secretary of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. "$650 billion worth of funds are distributed around the country based on the census and the count of people."

A vast array of federal programs and funding is distributed throughout the state. Regardless, accurate representation of an area is the most important part. The need for funding and resources based off of census responses will determine priority with the amount and money and resources given.

The census has other purposes as well.

"To determine the number of individuals in any given district in order to determine congressional representatives, and the allocation of representatives across the country is based on the census," Hughes stated.

"I think sometimes smaller municipalities are given the short end of the stick," Merrill City Clerk Bill Heideman said. "That federal money that we want so bad and need so bad should come to Merrill."

Heideman said he believes with full participation from Merrill residents and any residents in smaller areas, the census can help ensure that "small-town Wisconsin" isn't left out.

"Particularly smaller northern communities can help balance that a little bit by making sure every federal dollar they're entitled to comes to their municipality," Heideman added.

The census goes out on April 1.