MTPR

Census

Day after day, you're seeing stories about the 2020 census on the front page and all over TV news, even though the once-a-decade head count is still months away.

The president wants the census questionnaire to include: "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" He's willing to delay the count "for as long as it takes" to have it his way.

Montana Bureau Chief of the Census and Economic Information Center Mary Craigle discusses Census data security alongside federal census Partnership Specialist Karen Murphy in Missoula Monday.
Cassidy Alexander / Montana Public Radio

U.S. Census officials speaking in Missoula Monday avoided commenting on whether a citizenship question will be added to the 2020 Census and what it could mean for Montana. It comes at a time when the Trump administration is assembling a legal team determined to ask the country about its citizenship status.

The Montana Supreme Court has selected Sheila Stearns to lead Montana Redistricting Commission.
Courtesy the University of Montana

The Montana Supreme Court Tuesday named former state Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns to lead the committee in charge of re-drawing the boundaries of Montana’s legislative districts.

Stearns was picked by the state high court after the two Democrats and two Republicans on the Montana 2020 Redistricting Commission deadlocked on who should be their fifth and final member.

The two Democrats and two Republicans in charge of redrawing Montana’s political map failed Monday to agree on the fifth and final member of their group. The state Supreme Court will now step in to pick the tie-breaking member of Montana’s 2020 redistricting commission.

The Republican National Committee is sending out policy surveys with the option of enclosing $15 for processing a "Census Document." The Montana Department of Commerce is reminding Montana residents the actual U.S. Census will begin in March 2020 and will not ask for any money.

Montana’s Republican Senator Steve Daines on Wednesday introduced a bill to add a question about citizenship to the federal census in 2020.

The 2020 Census will have a big impact on how federal money and Congressional seats are distributed to states over the next decade. In a rural state like Montana, long distances between residents add extra challenges for getting the complete population count.

Current Montana Legislative Districts
Montana State Library

Four people sat around a table in Helena Friday to start debating how to draw lines of political power on the Montana map.

And they decided to ask for the public’s help in picking a fifth member who could cast tie-breaking votes over the lines that will shape election districts for the next 10 years. Districts for both state legislative races, and, depending on the outcome of the 2020 Census, how Montanans will elect a second Representative to the U.S. House.

The U.S. Census Bureau Deputy Director will host a panel in Bozeman Monday about the upcoming 2020 Census. The Census happens every ten years and there’s a lot at stake for Montana this time around — from federal funding to another congressional seat.

Population, percent change - April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2018
U.S. Census Bureau

New population numbers released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday show that Gallatin County’s population has grown 25 percent since the 2010 census.

That’s far ahead of Madison County which had the next highest growth rate at 14 percent.

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