DALLAS - Hundreds of millions of dollars and your political representation will be on the line in a few months with the 2020 Census.
Leaders are working to get the message out to all North Texans that it's safe to fill out the form.
For each person or child who is not counted in the U.S. Census this spring, it's a loss of $1,100 federal dollars per year. It's money that goes to everything from health services to head start pre-school programs.
“We know we've had a million people move to North Texas from out of state just since 2010,” said Congressman Collin Allred. “If you drive on 75 or the tollway, you know what I’m talking about.”
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins says it only takes an 8 percent undercount to cost the region $3.2 billion over 10 years.
“That would be like Cowboy's stadium, Parkland Hospital, all the road work in 10 years, all rolled into one. And the American Airlines Center and the two Calatrava bridges. That's what you could lose with an 8 percent undercount.”
Congressional representation is also on the line.
“Surely, we want the Census to give us more seats in Congress,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson.
This year, people will be able to respond to the Census online for the first time.
“That is a wonderful service, but I can tell you it will not impact some parts of my district,” Johnson said. “We will need human beings to explain what they're there for.”
Tim Olson with the U.S. Census Bureau says there will be plenty.
“We're going to hire a half million people around the nation to knock,” he said.
Congresswoman Johnson wants to ease fear about the census. The controversial question about citizenship will not be on it, and no information will be reported to immigration or law enforcement.
“You might find two families in a home who don't want to admit it because they have not told the landlord,” she said. “We're not landlords and not going to tell the landlords their business.”
The Census Bureau is looking to hire thousands of Census workers to knock on doors. The hourly pay varies by county but is about $21-22. Those who want to apply for a position can click here.