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You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the 2020 Census in recent days, but most of that is coming from the country-wide perspective. What about here in Wayne County? We’re going to dive into some facts about the Decennial Census and why it matters to our hometown.

Let’s head back to the 18th century…

Have you heard the phrase “Taxation without representation is tyranny,”? That comes from colonial times when our ancestors were being heavily taxed in the (soon to be) United States with no representation in British Parliament. This meant they paid a lot in taxes but had no voice to say how it would be used or if it was even a fair amount. When our Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they chose the population to be the basis of political power (instead of wealth or landownership) and specifically wrote: “Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers…” (The Constitution of the United States, Article 1, Section 2). The key phrase is “according to their respective numbers.” This meant that we needed a way to count all the people in this county where they live to see what that number was and how it changes. A census every ten years gives us a good look at how many people we have and where they live so that we can be sure everyone gets fair representation in the House of Representatives.

So what about Wayne?

It turns out that census data helps us out locally, too. The census asks about the number of people in your household and the sex, age, and race of each person. Federal funds, grants, and other kinds of support to states, counties, and communities are based on – you guessed it – population totals and those demographics breakdowns. Businesses also use census data when they are considering where to open a new location. This means your accurate census data will help our whole community.

How can I help?

  1. Participate in the census. Fill it out accurately and submit your information. That’s all you have to do!
  2. Consider becoming a Census Taker. These well-paying positions work in our local community to help those who need a little assistance in completing their census information – plus they reimburse you for mileage and you can work this as a part-time job. Click here to apply.

Otherwise, plan on completing your census and encourage friends and family members to do the same. Remember: your voice counts.

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