(FOX 9) - The 2020 census is still a year away, but the results could have some serious implications for Minnesotans.
State and city leaders want to ensure everyone in Minnesota is accounted for, and on Monday, they took steps to make that happen.
“The 2020 census may not be very sexy, but it is absolutely critical that every bit a funding is received," Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.
According to U.S. census data, there are 5.6 million people living in the state of Minnesota. The Minnesota State Demographic Center says the census helps allocate some $15 billion in federal funds to our state. That's roughly $2,800 per person every year.
“A common misconception about the census is that this is done by and for the government and that they are the only ones who use it. The private sector uses it to decide where to make investments, where to put jobs," said Andrew Verdin, Director of Census Operations and Engagement.
In addition to federal funding, the census also helps portion political influence. State demographers say even though Minnesota's population is growing faster than our neighbors in the upper Midwest, southern states like Florida and Texas are growing faster. This means our state is on the bubble for losing one of its eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as an elector in the Electoral College, just like in 2010.
"That is why we are here. That's is why we are going to be nerding out, talking about the importance of the census," Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan said.
Community activists say less than half of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe participated in the last census. So, focusing on people who are often missed like renters and recent immigrants could add up for Minnesota.
“Get the message out there that's its OK to share your information with the census because those numbers are important and we need to be counted," said Shelly Diaz with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
This is the first time you can fill out your census form online. Last census, Minnesota was second in participation.