“The Census Bureau gives you a list of what they have for their Census addresses and then you can compare it to your list of addresses and submit any discrepancies,” State Data Center director Gary Krob says.
The 2020 census of the U.S. population will determine whether Iowa loses one of its four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In addition, the census data determines how much states, cities and counties receive from a variety of federal program. Krob says sometime this summer cities and counties will be given a chance to sign up to review the addresses census-takers plan to check in 2020.
“That’s really very important for most cities and counties to participate in because it gives you a chance not only to add to the census list, but to see if there are any big holes that you want to make sure are covered,” Krob says.
The U.S. Postal Service periodically sends the U.S. Census Bureau the new addresses it has for mail delivery. Since the 2010 Census, there’s been significant growth in Iowa suburbs like Grimes and North Liberty. Smaller communities like Tiffin and Bondurant already have doubled in size.
“There’s a chance the Census Bureau has it in their system, but there’s also a chance they may not,” Krob says. “This is your opportunity to double-check that.”
In 2018, the Census Bureau will do a “test run” to check the population in three U.S. cities. None are in Iowa. The next national census will start on April 1, 2020.