Since 1790, the U.S. has taken a population snapshot, called the decennial census, every 10 years. Dal Grooms says it’s time for rural America to stand up and be counted.
Like school pictures that show how we change from year to year the US Census Bureau has been documenting the look of America for more than 200 years. For the first census US Marshalls rode on horseback through our young country to gather the information that created the picture of this country. That information as used to determine state representation in the congress, and those Census numbers are still gathered for that purpose and many others; the data will be used to determine if roads will be built or repaired in your neighborhood, businesses will make decisions on providing goods to your area or perhaps opening a plant because of the workforce available. Government will use the information to decide how services and tax dollars will be distributed, and political boundaries for state and federal representation will be determined by the population numbers.
These decisions are important to all Americans. In 2010 the census is especially critical to rural Americans. Our time is here to be noticed in the census yearbook. For more than 100 years rural populations have declined as cities grew. Rural Americans must make sure that they stand up and be counted.
Information in the past 3 years indicates that there might be a shift underway that shows rural areas have stabilized their populations and maybe even grew. In the recent census of ag we saw more new farms and younger farmers, which indicates young families are coming back to rural areas and the promise of a growing population.
If you haven’t returned your census, workers will be visiting you soon, give them the 10 minutes they need to answer the 10 questions , the essence of that information will be seen in the picture of America for years to come.