OPINION

Health and Wellness: 2020 census

Ann Cochran - Dallas County Public Health

Did you know that the 2020 census will have an impact on your health? Here’s how: over $675 billion in federal funds will be distributed based on census data. Medicare health insurance, prevention and substance use treatment programs, senior housing and schools all get federal funds.

The census is all about representation. If everyone who currently lives in Dallas County is included in the 2020 count, the federal government will perceive our communities as places that need fire protection, roads, hospitals and all of the other services that shape our lives. The census will reveal important characteristics about our communities, such as how many individuals over age 65 live here. Again, this will help community planners with decisions about availability of public transportation, senior meal sites, and homemaker services.

Another way the census could directly impact your finances is that the US Census Bureau is now hiring census takers, clerks and field supervisors. These jobs are a good fit for retirees, students, people looking for temporary employment, or for a second job. The hours are flexible, so could include days, evenings, or weekends. The hourly wage for a census taker is $21.50.

To apply for a job, go to https://2020census.gov/en/jobs.html.