Census taking did not start in North America by the federal government but in the days of Moses in the Bible. 

The Bible records at least seven times where a census of people took place. 

The first census was taken when the Israelites left Egypt for their wilderness wandering and again before they entered the promised land. This is why the fourth book of the Bible is called Numbers. 

King David took a census in the Old Testament, as did King Solomon, and the Prophet Nehemiah. In the New Testament, two censuses were taken after the birth and death of Jesus Christ.

The first census in the United States started in 1790 and has been taken every ten years since then as required by law. The purpose is to record facts and figures about the American people, places, and the economy.

Here are a few reasons why you should participate in the 2020 Census.

An up-to-date census determines how many representatives each state gets in Congress and when redrawing of district boundaries is necessary. The Census statistics help communities plan for new roads, schools, and emergency services. Businesses also use these statistics to determine where to open places to shop. 

Most importantly, the federal government distributes money to states and communities based on the Census data. Henderson and Rusk County desperately need our share this coming decade, so be sure to participate.

New this Census is the flexibility to answer the questions by phone or online on a secure website. 

Even though the previous method of knocking on doors will continue, be cautious of scammers by remembering the following:

Census workers will not start knocking on doors until April 2020. They will be wearing an ID badge with their photograph, a Census watermark, and an expiration date. Census workers will not ask for your Social Security information, bank account or credit card numbers, nor will they ask for donations or request any money. Neither will you be contacted by email.

I have seen the official Census 2020 form and there are only nine questions for each person in your house that must be answered. 

In spite of what some of the media has reported, there are no questions about whether or not you are a citizen of the United States of America.

I encourage you, and your household, to participate in the 2020 Census. It, not only, will help East Texas, Rusk County, and Henderson but you and your family as well.


Dan Moore is editor and publisher of The Henderson News. His e-mail address is <publisher@thehendersonnews.com>. © 2019, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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