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Census 2020: Reasons for the Census

Information on why the Census is taken and how Census data can be used.

Reasons for the Census

Ten Reasons for the Census (a Poem)

Ten Reasons for the Census
by Linda Zellmer
Government Information & Data Services Librarian
Western Illinois University

Number 1. Why do it? It’s the Law.
It’s how legislative districts are drawn.
Check the Constitution!

Number 2. Who Counts? Every living denizen,
Even if you’re not a citizen.
The Supreme Court says so! (Also see the Analysis on the Supreme Court's ruling from the Brennan Center for Justice)

Number 3. It means government funds,
Data helps get grant funding done.
It means money!

Number 4. It’s often used in planning,
Schools, healthcare, housing, just explaining.
New Schools! More Doctors!

Number 5. It’s used for transportation,
It brings roads & mass transit to the general population.
Better roads! More buses!

Number 6. It’s used in business planning,
Siting factories, delivering goods; numbers help when they’re expanding.
It means jobs!

Number 7. It’s used in online mapping,
Of services, routes, and even some in taxing.
Think GPS navigation systems!

Number 8. It’s used in an emergency,
After hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, when help is needed urgently.
Who needs help?

Number 9. It’s often used by government,
Schools & services bring advancement.
Community Improvement!

Number 10. It’s used to study history,
Of people and places. Even genealogy.
But you have to wait 72 years!

This poem is also available in poster form at the following links: