• April 2020

The census matters for Sioux Falls

Every 10 years, the residents of Sioux Falls play an important role in shaping the future of the city by participating in the census. Beginning in April, area residents are asked to join millions of others in completing the census online with the Census ID mailed to their homes in mid-March. An early and accurate count of the Sioux Falls area helps secure federal funding for several critical programs and provides data for key economic indicators.

For a 10-year period, the city's census count determines the amount of federal assistance our area receives for several social safety net programs. Specific programs include:

• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
• Free and reduced breakfast and lunch for school children
• Temporary assistance for needy families
• Children's Health Insurance Program
• Medicaid
• Housing assistance
• Block grants for mental health services

An accurate census count also helps ensure the area receives its appropriate share of federal dollars for highway construction, public transportation, paratransit, Head Start, Pell Grants for college students, and many other local needs. In total, 132 different federal programs rely on each of us participating in the census and encouraging others to participate as well.

The demographic information gathered during the 2020 Census also provides businesses a better perspective about the makeup of the local economy, especially that of its workforce and consumers. Outside of the government, trade groups and business associations such as Chambers of Commerce rely on census data to help identify product trends and organizational structure.

Business and nonprofit leaders in the Sioux Falls community play an important role in securing a complete and accurate count of our population. So, how can you help as an employer?

First, be a cheerleader of the 2020 Census! You can encourage the members of your organization to complete the census and remind them of its importance to the community. This could take the form of community board flyers, all employee email or as a topic during an all employee or departmental meeting.

Second, encourage your customers and/or tenants to complete the census as well. You can also help reassure people that their information is confidential and they are able to respond anonymously. Federal law protects the information of each respondent regardless of citizenship status.

Lastly, remember to take the census for your household as well! Every person counted matters, including you.

To learn more about the 2020 Census, visit 2020census.gov.

There are toolkits, posters, talking points and translated materials for a multilingual workforce. The City of Sioux Falls has organized a Complete Count Committee for the local efforts. If your organization is interested in becoming a Census Partner, visit siouxfalls.org/census for more information.

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