The census determines federal funding |

The census determines federal funding

Amanda Hammon

The U.S. census determines once a decade the yearly distribution of about $182 billion of federal money.

Divide that by the U.S. estimated population of 272 million and every person counted in the census is about $670.

Nevada lost a lot of money from the 1990 census – roughly $200 million.

“Nothing has more of an affect on our quality of life than the census,” said David Byerman, Nevada federal census representative. “Nevada had the worst number of respondents to surveys. Only 61 percent were returned.”

About 28,300 Nevadan’s were missed from 1990’s census, 788 missed in Carson City. They’re not huge numbers, Byerman said, but every dollar counts.

With the state’s transient population and skepticism of federal government, Byerman admits gathering census information in Nevada will be a challenge. He and other census worker are beginning a statewide campaign hoping to get Nevadan’s interested in the census. Byerman expects to take the issue as far into communities as churches and schools hoping to draw interest.

“It’s a sleeper of an issue,” he said. “Nobody thinks about the about the census. We get all the money from Washington through the census. A better census means a better quality of life. It means teachers in schools, cops on the streets, roads, health care, everything.”

To make sure the city is completely counted, the U.S. Census bureau is hiring about 1,300 people in Northern Nevada for work from mid-February through March or April.

Workers must pass a test which identifies reading, math, organizational and math skills. Testing centers are scattered throughout Northern Nevada. Those selected will receive paid training and can work part- or full-time in the evenings and on weekends. The job pays around $11.25 an hour and 31 cents per mile when a worker uses his or her own car. Workers will be conducting field work, going door to door asking people questions.

For information on working for the U.S. Census Bureau in Nevada, call 784-7400 Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For information on the U.S. census, head to the web at