The 2020 Census is almost here and workers are needed in Carlton County. Once every decade, the federal government conducts a count of the entire population and records basic information about each person.

Peter Alexander from the U.S. Census spoke to the Carlton County Board of Commissioners during the regular meeting Monday, Nov. 25.

He said Census workers in Carlton County are paid $24 an hour. They are also looking for volunteers to form committees in the towns and townships. Scanlon, Cloquet and Cromwell are the only communities that have Census committees so far.

For the first time, residents will be able to fill out the Census survey online or by phone as well as with the traditional paperwork.

The Census numbers help the government decide how much funding to provide for states, counties and communities for resources such as schools, hospitals, public programs and fire departments. Each resident who doesn't participate causes the community to receive less money from the government. The government will be distributing $575 billion annually based on the Census information.

Committees are needed from each area to help ensure that the hard-to-count demographics are found and tallied, and residents know their communities better than anyone else.

According to Alexander, Carlton County has a history of demographics getting missed during the Census count. The county had a 77% participation rate in the 2010 Census.

Examples of hard-to-count demographics include children under 5 years old; college students; the homeless; millennials; people living in poverty; tenants; snowbirds; senior citizens; veterans; and adults ages 18-24.

Alexander said each person counted during the Census helps bring about $20,000 into the state, county or community.

For example, a representative from the health department, faith-based communities and social services are good representatives on a county committee. They are entities that know where to find the hard-to-count demographics in the area and can help make sure they are counted.

Census Day is April 1. For current job openings, visit 2020census.gov/jobs.

To volunteer to serve on the Carlton County committee, contact Commissioner Gary Peterson at 218-380-4949.