During the Jan. 14 Brentwood City Commission meeting, Mayor Rhea Little presented a proclamation to remind residents that the 2020 Census will take place later this year.
“We encourage a united voice from businesses, government, educators, media and others to allow the 2020 Census message to reach a broader audience,” Little said in the proclamation. “I join with the board of commissioners and encourage the citizens to participate in events and initiatives that will raise awareness for the 2020 U.S. Census.”
Households are expected to begin receiving census information in mid-March, according to the city. However, for the first time, residents this year will be able to respond to the census online.
Last year, Williamson County launched the Williamson County Complete Count Committee to spread awareness about the census and ensure that as many residents as possible participate this year.
“Williamson County had an 82% mail participation rate in 2020, but we are committed to increasing participation this year to as close as 100% as possible,” said Joe Horne, Williamson County community development director, in a statement.
While the census provides population data, city officials said the count is also important for the city’s budget. City Manager Kirk Bednar said the city receives state dollars based on the number of people living in the city.
“From a city budget standpoint, we have 43,889 people in the city now as our certified population,” Bednar said. “We finished our special census in 2018, so we’re counting on this federal census to capture some of the growth we’ve had. We need everybody to respond when it comes because it’s a significant amount of money that otherwise would have to be raised, potentially, through other taxes.”
Census data is also used to determine how many seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives as well as the size of state voting districts. Residents can learn more on how data affects local funding and government here.