by Melanie Jongsma
LANSING, Ill. (December 17, 2019) – The 2020 Census can shape Lansing and other communities throughout the United States. Census results, collected once a decade, help inform a variety of decisions. For example:
- Attracting new businesses to the state in general and to Lansing specifically.
Businesses use census data to find areas of growth and opportunity, and they tailor their products and services based on census results.
- Planning for hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and other health services.
The demographic information compiled through the 2020 Census includes age and gender information. This is important when determining whether nearby hospitals need more maternity wards or geriatricians.
- Forecasting future housing needs for all segments of the population.
Census data can help Lansing plan more 55+ housing or single family homes. And, relatedly, data can help Lan-Oak Park District make decisions about which of Lansing’s neighborhood parks need playground equipment and which need walking paths or wheelchair-accessible picnic areas.
- Creating maps to speed emergency services to households in need of assistance.
One of the jobs of the US Census Bureau is to verify addresses throughout the nation. In Lansing, that helps our police and fire departments develop an up-to-date map of which homes are occupied and how many people live there. That information could save lives during an emergency.
- Planning for faith-based organizations.
Lansing churches can use census data to ensure their programs are meeting actual needs, or to plan new programs, or to find volunteers. Census data might show, for example, a significant population of senior citizens who live alone, or an increase in young families, or an increase in households with two incomes—indicating a potential need for after-school programs.
Lansing has formed a Complete Count Committee whose mission is to encourage Lansing residents to complete the census when the forms arrive in the mail in late March 2020. Committee members and Village officials have been speaking and handing out flyers at a variety of events and meetings throughout the community in an effort to make residents aware of why census data is so important.
The information gathered is always shared in aggregate and is never associated with a specific address or person.