FLORIDA — Billions of dollars and multiple congressional seats are on the line for Floridians this year as the 2020 Census rolls in. This year, the Census is even easier to fill out.
“It’ll take people 10 minutes to complete the form,” said Tim Olson, Associate Director for Field Operations with the U.S. Census Bureau.
It’s a small fraction of your day that determines a huge portion of federal funding allocated to the state of Florida. Around $675 billion is on the line, divided between each of the 50 states and five territories annually.
“Think about it as, this is an investment in my community,” said Olson.
The money is allocated based on numbers, not need, and it all goes to fund local schools, emergency services and highways.
“If you’re missed, you’re literally robbing your community of necessary funds for kids, for seniors, for everybody who uses the road system,” said Olson.
Those Census numbers also determine the amount of congressional seats each state gets.
Based on Florida’s population increase over the last 10 years, Brookings Institution projections show Florida could gain two seats.
So, who should be counted?
“Everybody. Related or unrelated, if that’s where they sleep most of the time, they should be counted,” said Olson.
This time around, it’s easier than ever to complete.
For the first time in history, you can fill out your U.S. Census form online or by telephone.
Packets will start arriving to Tampa Bay households by March 12.