2020 Census to Reflect Central Ohio Population Growth
Central Ohio is on track to become a region of 3 million people by 2050, according to the latest population forecasts from the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC). In 2018 alone, an average of 118 people came into the region each day, and the growth shows no signs of slowing down.
The region has the opportunity to collectively plan for this growth in a sustainable way – one that delivers a range of transportation options, offers affordable housing, ensures all residents have opportunities for economic success and makes efficient use of our resources.
But in order to capitalize on the opportunities and resources available, the 2020 Census must accurately reflect every person living in Central Ohio – and across the state. The United States Constitution requires that every person living in the country is counted in a census each decade, and the U.S. Census Bureau is responsible for this work.
The results from the Census are used to make decisions on how more than $880 billion in annual federal spending is distributed to state and local governments. This money is used to carry out important government services and programs, including infrastructure investments, education funding, and key social services.
Making budgeting decisions, forecasting future transportation and housing needs, planning for how land is used and making investments in public transportation services would all be even greater challenges without the use of Census data.
The data is also used to draw legislative boundaries, including the reapportionment of seats in the Ohio General Assembly and Ohio congressional districts. In fact, the census determines the number of U.S. House members allotted to Ohio – affecting the state’s political influence in Washington.
Projections forecast that Ohio will potentially lose a congressional seat because – although the state is growing – it is not growing as quickly as other parts of the country. But in a growing and diverse region like Central Ohio, counting people can be difficult.
The Census Bureau relies on state and local agencies, as well as other partners, to help get out the work and make sure all groups in our communities are engaged. That is where MORPC and communities throughout Central Ohio are playing a role.
Efforts are already underway to ensure that each and every Central Ohio resident is counted. Columbus and Franklin County launched their Complete Count Committee nearly a year ago. MORPC is chairing the government subcommittee and providing staff for other subcommittees.
Committees like these form across the state and country to help raise awareness of the census and encourage local residents to respond. The committees include a broad spectrum of community leaders representing a broad range of demographic groups, industries, and community organizations.
Residents will begin receiving invitations to complete the Census in February and need to respond by April. In addition to completing your own survey, there are a number of other opportunities to help prepare for the 2020 Census:
- Jobs. Those who are looking for a new job can apply now for positions such a field representatives at https://go.usa.gov/xdxEC. In Central Ohio, these positions pay $20-24 per hour.
- Ohio Business Owners and Operators Census Guide. This guide is for Ohio business owners and operators to promote the census with their employees and customers. It provides easy access to social media graphics, flyers, language for employee communications, and talking points.
- Columbus Counts Census 2020 Grants Application. The Columbus Counts: Census 2020 Grants Application is open until January 27 at 12 noon. The City of Columbus and Franklin County are providing funds to support local, community-based organizations in promoting the 2020 Census. Their goal is to ensure that every resident in Columbus and Franklin County is counted, especially individuals from traditionally hard-to-count (HTC) communities. This funding will be distributed to local community-based organizations through a mini-grant process administered by the United Way of Central Ohio for the purpose of reaching traditionally HTC communities. If you have questions, please contact Director of Community Affairs Doug Murray at DDMurray@columbus.gov.