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State official urge Utahns to take part in the 2020 Census

The Utah State Capitol building, file photo. Credit: Paul Nelson, KSL Newsradio

SALT LAKE CITY — You matter.  Be counted. That’s the message from the state as they prepare Utahns for the 2020 Census, which will start one year from now.

State officials are hoping to avoid some of the problems that have plagued the state in previous years.

There are three groups of people that are traditionally hard to count during any census, according to State Planning Coordinator Evan Curtis.

“Young people [is one of those groups], and Utah has a higher number than average of young people,” Curtis said.  “Also, the immigrant communities are much harder to count, especially if they’re coming from an area where they don’t have a census.”

The third group is university students, and Curtis says we have plenty of all three types of people in Utah.  That’s why his office is trying to prepare people early so they decide to take part in the 2020 survey.

This is the first year where people will be allowed to participate in the census online, which poses a potential problem.  Curtis says there are many families in Utah that don’t have the internet in their homes.  However, state libraries will let people use their computers so they can fill out their census.

Being under-counted could have devastating economic impacts on the state of Utah for the next ten years.  Curtis says corporations use this information just as much as the government does, and the state could lose out on a lot of money if a lot of people don’t take part.

“Utah receives billions of dollars… over $5.7 billion in federal funds each year and many of those funds are allocated based on census numbers.  It matters for transportation.  It matters for social programs,” he says.

People should be receiving their census postcards in mid-March of next year.