Gov. Doug Burgum today signed an executive order creating the Complete Count Task Force to recommend strategies that safeguard and promote the 2020 census to ensure a fair and accurate count for the state.

Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, state and federal leaders, advocates and community members met to highlight North Dakota’s efforts to ensure a complete and accurate census count.

“The data that will be collected by the 2020 census is critical for North Dakota counties and communities,” Burgum said. “Working together, we will arrive at a complete and accurate count to ensure we receive proper funding to plan roads, schools, hospitals, senior centers and emergency services to best serve changing populations in North Dakota.”

The task force has the charge of recommending strategies that safeguard and promote the 2020 census to ensure a fair and accurate count for the state. The North Dakota Legislature has appropriated $1 million to improve awareness on the importance of the census.

In North Dakota alone, more than 3,000 employees will be needed during the peak effort months of May and June 2020. Every household will be contacted by mail. Many of these will be visited in person by an employee of the U.S. Census Bureau.

The estimated cost to the state of a person not counted in the 2020 census will be $19,100 in federal funds through the year 2030, North Dakota Census Office Manager Kevin Iverson said. “It is vitally important that every resident is counted in the decennial census,” he said.

The census is conducted every 10 years to ensure equal representation in an elected government at both federal and state levels.