U.S. Census impacts community development in a variety of ways

RAPID CITY, S.D. – U.S. Census surveys have been delivered. But why is it important to answer?

The results of the 2020 Census will impact how billions in federal dollars is distributed to the nation’s cities.

“The census allows the U.S. government to allocate over $675 billion in federal aid every single year,” said Kip Harrington, the Rapid City Long-Range Planner. “And most of that is based off the population. So for us to have an accurate count of every single person in Rapid City means that we can have a bigger share of that federal funding come in to our community.”

Rapid City Community Development bases their growth projections off the Census as well as the number of property permits.

“The money is used in many different ways throughout the community,” Harrington said. “It goes to snap benefits, it goes to meals on wheels, the school lunches. It also affects how many dollars we have to spend on our road maintenance, things like that.”

Census data is reflected in highway planning, public transit, all the way to law enforcement. Rapid City Police Department utilizes Census data to justify increases in staff.

“Our Community Development staff are able to provide appropriate growth projections so that we can ensure that we are ahead of the curve or with the curve of growth, to ensure we are providing adequate public safety services,” said R.C.P.D. Chief Karl Jegeris.

Everyone’s response to the 2020 U.S. Census is required by law.

Not filling out answers online or through the mail will result in a census taker visiting your home. 

The U.S. Census website can provide help for anyone with questions.

For questions and more, visit the U.S. Census website, HERE.


Categories: Local News, National News