Why Essex? US Census

Interview with Dana Hanley, Essex Community Development Director

Dana Hanley loves data.  If you hang around enough planner type folks (like I seem to) you will find that most of them do.  So participating in the most extensive data gathering event in the United States is basically a dream come true for her.

The US Census has its home in the Constitution, where the founding fathers directed the government to count the population every ten years.  The original purpose of the Census was to set the number of members from each state in the House of Representatives, which it is still used for.  In addition, the Census now directly affects how more than $400 billion per year of federal funds are allocated.  The next Census will be happening in 2020.  

Alas, not everyone shares Dana’s passion for data.  For those who might not, being counted in the Census may not seem so fun.  This is where the Essex Complete Count Committee comes in.  Dana will be working with the committee to get the word out about the US Census, and implement creative ideas to ensure that every Essex resident is counted.  Approximately $4,000 of federal funds are lost for every uncounted person, so it vitally important that all residents of Essex are counted to ensure that our tax dollars get back into the community.  Or as Dana says, “It is our money, we may as well get it back!”    

If you are interested in learning more about Essex’s work on the US Census, contact Dana at dhanley@ essex.org or 878-1343.  You can find more information about the US Census on the web: https://www.census.gov/.

Why Essex? “Current estimates are looking like 14% of the population of Essex will be undercounted in the 2020 Census.  That adds up to a lot of federal dollars that we would be missing out on in our community.”

Why Essex? is a weekly(ish) column highlighting the people and places that make Essex an interesting and special place. Have an idea for the column? E-mail Darby Mayville at darby@ essexjunction.org.

Photo Credits: Burlington Free Press, US Census Bureau