The U.S. Census count is the official population indicator for the next 10 years and every response matters, according to the Great Plains Housing Authority. It is one of the local groups helping educate community groups to encourage undercounted populations to be counted.

Retailers, restaurants, factories, universities, schools, fire departments, cities, states and employers look at Census data to decide future developments. Answering the Census survey correctly can help the Jamestown area grow in new businesses and population. Government entities use Census information to divide billions of dollars in tax revenues to help cover schools, assistance programs, emergency responders, roads and many other community necessities. The Census data is a point in time count which is protected and not linked to voting or taxes. Individuals can complete the Census survey by phone, online, mail or in person.

Jamestown and the surrounding area need the public's assistance in educating many undercounted individuals who might have disabilities, the elderly, university students, temporary employees, limited English proficiency or “snowbirds,” according to Great Plains Housing Authority. The Census encourages individuals to register where they live the most. University of Jamestown and Valley City State University students and professors should register in the community where they reside while school is in session, according to the Housing Authority.

Stutsman County’s Census Committee and Great Plains Housing Authority developed several online videos and memes to educate and encourage Census participation. The videos have a broad focus but were developed to engage university students and community leaders. Movie theater advertisements will also educate local populations. Community groups can request Census Committee members to participate in meetings or discussions by contacting Pam Phillips at Jamestown City Hall or Nicole Meland at Stutsman County Offices.

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