Every 10 years, the census helps update the government on population numbers in the U.S. Knowing how many people live in South Dakota could impact funding for the state.
“So whether you live in Harrisburg or Sioux Falls or the state of South Dakota, we need to know how many people are here. That gives us a count for when we go to get federal funds anytime the federal government says we’re going to give transportation funding to an area. They say, how many people live there. Well what about Medicaid? How many people live in this region? They’re going to ask, well what’s the census say, how many people live here. So, Medicare, Medicaid, college funding, transportation dollars, SNAP funds. Anything like that comes back to how many people live in this area,” Jeffrey Schmitt, the planning coordinator for Sioux Falls, said.
The census is also used for legislative purposes.
“Minnehaha County is our most populous county. When we get an accurate count on our county, we’ll find out if we get to have more state senators, more legislators that live and represent our county,” Minnehaha County Commissioner Jeff Barth said.
But the deadline to fill out your census is fast approaching with just three days left.
“It’s very simple. The census is only asking 10 questions, it’s online,” Schmitt said.
And it’s important that everybody is counted.
“You know, especially people that are kind of out of the loop. The elderly, the non-English speakers, it’s important that they get involved and get it done. We can’t just have the few that know how to do this so easily,” Barth said.