The U.S. Census Bureau wants to make sure everyone takes part in the upcoming 2020 Census.
Sherry Jackson is a representative for the U.S. Census Bureau. She said a national campaign begins January 1st to get more people aware of the upcoming population count.
“Because in mid-March every household within the U.S. will receive an invitation to respond to the Census at their home address,” Jackson said. “This is the very first time you can respond online or by phone. If you don’t respond online or by phone, then you’ll get a paper questionnaire about mid-April. If you don’t respond by paper, then you’ll get a knock at the door.”
Jackson visited with Cookeville city leaders during Mondays city council work session. She also addressed regional leaders during the UCHRA Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday.
Jackson stressed the importance of counting as many people as possible. She said the federal government uses the information to distribute $675 billion to communities nationwide.
“There’s nothing more important that we have to do in 2020 than getting this Census count right,” Jackson said. “This will mean more to our communities, in terms of federal funds, than anything you can do.”
Jackson said a George Washington University study found that missing one person in the Census amounts to $1,091 in lost revenue per person per year in Tennessee.
Cookeville City Manager James Mills said he looking forward to the 2020 Census. Depending on the results, Mills said Cookeville could be designated a Metropolitan area.
“Which brings in a whole new source of revenue and a lot more responsibility for us,” Mills said. “Plus, the last numbers I got from MTAS for state-shared taxes, which are per capita, is over $130 a person. It makes a big difference to make sure we get everybody counted to bring in the revenue that we need to provide the services.”
Census Bureau data indicates Cookeville saw a population growth of 1,636 people in 2018, down slightly from 1,660 the year before. 2018’s growth puts Cookeville at ninth overall among the nation’s top-10 growing micropolitan areas.
The 2010 Census counted 30,435 people in Cookeville.