2020 census: Why it matters

CHICAGO -- Every 10 years the government sends out a census questionnaire, hoping to count exactly how many people there are in the country.

The upcoming 2020 census is expected to be the most efficient one to date because for the first time, people can respond online from any device, by mail or by phone.

The census is required by the U.S. Constitution and helps the government make some major decisions.

The census determines how more than $675 billion in federal funding gets split up across the country. That money goes toward things in your community like housing, education, transportation, employment opportunities, health care and public policies.

Census results also determine congressional representation for each state. So, the more people in a state... the more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Federal funds and grants are based on population totals and broken down by sex, age, race and other factors. But, the census is only helpful if people actually fill it out. So when the time comes, do it!

Until then, spread the word and make sure you and the people you know get counted.

To learn more about the 2020 census, visit the U.S. Census Bureau.
Copyright © 2019 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.