Census for 2020 gearing up
Mississippi and other states across the Nation are entering the first major phase of the 2020 Census: comparing local address information received from states, counties, and municipalities to address information housed at the U.S. Census Bureau.
This address update initiative, dubbed the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program, is the first step in the 2020 Census process. LUCA is the only opportunity offered to tribal, state, and local governments to review and help revise the U.S. Census Bureau’s residential address list, which has been the most effective way to contact, survey, and count individuals across the country.
All of Mississippi’s counties and municipalities have committed to participate in LUCA. In 2010, the last time a decennial census was conducted, only 35 Mississippi counties (48 percent) and 97 cities (32 percent) participated in sharing updated address data with the U.S. Census during LUCA.
Addresses are the only information implicated in LUCA. Names of residents and other personal information is not at issue.
“Census data is used in almost every facet of our lives—research, economic development initiatives, aid and grant distribution, and so on,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “If we are going to get an accurate count, we had to start with a commitment to help from our counties and municipalities. They quickly answered the call.”
Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann, designated chair of the Census LUCA Committee by Governor Bryant, agreed.
“We are already ahead of where we were in 2010,” Secretary Hosemann said. “Every Mississippian counts, so it is imperative for our State and local governments to band together in this united effort to find every inhabited residence.”
Mandated by Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Census counts every resident in the Nation and is conducted every 10 years. Residents are counted at their “usual residence,” or the place where they live and sleep, generally by an e-mailed or mailed survey, or phone or in-person interview. Data collected through the Census process determines congressional and many state legislative seats, and is used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities. In 2015, Mississippi receive more than $6.14 billion in federal aid for programs like Medicaid, S-CHIP, Head Start, and the National School Lunch Program as a result of Census information.