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Why taking the 2020 census is important for downtown Rochester

There's one small task those living in downtown Rochester can do to help shape the future of our community: taking the 2020 census. Here are the five W's—what, who, when, where, and why— of the census and its impacts on our downtown Rochester community.


Every 10 years, the U.S. Constitution—under Article I, section 2—requires a complete count of everyone who lives in the United States, and U.S. territories. The census covers basic questions of residents like name, age, race and sex. It does not ask for social security numbers, income, or citizenship status.

(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)


The census is for everyone. Where a person lives or sleeps most of the time is where he or she should be counted. As an example, a college student living in a downtown apartment complex should be counted as a Rochester resident, even if he or she lives with parents for three of the 12 months.

Anyone can represent his or her household if he or she is at least 15 years of age. The census also accounts for others living in the same household, like children, roommates, and family members. Find more information as to whom should be counted in the census here.

The U.S. Census Bureau will not share your responses with other agencies, not your landlord, not law enforcement, no other agencies, no one. Data is confidential and your privacy is protected. Learn more about how the U.S. Census Bureau protects data here.

Where and When:

If you have not responded yet to the census, a census taker will visit your home. The census is easy, safe, and important. Census takers wear face masks and keep a physical distance, staying outside your home. In 2020, it can also be completed fully online, by phone, from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week, or by mail, all by the September 30 deadline.


Your response helps our community for the next 10 years.

For every person who isn’t counted, our community misses out on important benefits for schools, social services, and other basic needs. An estimated $2,700 per year, or $27,000 over 10 years, in federal funding flows to our community based on census data, according to the Minnesota State Demographic Center.

Being counted is an important way for you to impact change.

By completing the census, you have the ability to help ensure billions of federal funding gets funneled to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other community resources. The census results also determines how many legislative seats are available to represent your community in Congress. Learn more about the importance of census data here.

It’s a factor for businesses looking to open in a community.

Populations and demographics of a community shift. Business owners use census data as a way of understanding communities and whether it makes sense to open restaurant, retail, or service business there. Business owners also use census data to make competitive hiring and pay decisions based on the typical payroll of similar businesses in their area. Learn more about the census' impact on a community here.

Let your voice be heard to support downtown Rochester in the future. Visit for more information.