Impact of an inaccurate Census on communities

Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 8:41 AM CDT
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An inaccurate count in the census can cause communities to miss out on important federal funding for a decade. After the 2010 census, the Census Bureau estimated that they missed almost five percent of American Indians on Reservations.

Census takers will be going door to door in only a few months for the 2020 census. Which will help determine government funding for years.

"In federal funding alone it is fifty-five different programs that are effected by the census count that'll take place, so for a full decade that area will be impacted if it receives less than accurate count," said Kevin Iverson, Census Office Manager.

According to a study done by George Washington University one missed resident can cost their community more than $19,000.

"When you talk about those numbers of economic impact. Federal dollars of housing, child welfare, elderly, education, all of those federal dollars that come to the tribe that impact the tribe," said Scott Davis, Indian Affairs Commissioner.

The census department is reaching out to tribal leaders and others to encourage people to participate in the census.

"I think for the common citizen in North Dakota, including tribal members, it's trust. You got somebody showing up with a clipboard or a tablet on your front doorstep and they knock on your door, and they need information, it's kind of a trust thing," said Davis.

According to the earlier study being off by point one percent statewide could cost the state $15 million over ten years.

The Indian Affairs Commission is working on an up to date economic study that they say should be ready in the next couple months.

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