Every 10 years, the United States conducts a population count across the country. This count is called the census and this spring the federal government will begin to count every American.

These counts are important because they determine how many representatives we will have in Congress and how many federal dollars will be spent for schools, healthcare, roads and other purposes.

Over $675 billion dollars is distributed every year by the federal government. By participating in the census, you are making sure that our communities are accounted for.

This count is especially important in Texas because we are a fast-growing state. Some estimate that Texas will get four more Congressmen who can advocate for us in Washington, DC. While other states are losing population, Texas is growing because of our favorable job prospects and business climate.

One interesting fact about the census is that it calls for all residents to be counted, not just citizens. So, if you are living here on a temporary status, you should also participate in the census.

For the first time ever, you will be able to take the census online or fill out a paper document. These answers will be double checked to make sure that people are not counted twice.

Expect to see a notice from the U.S. Census Bureau in your mailbox in the coming weeks. Be sure to read this notice and answer for your household.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows state Rep. J.M. Lozano of Kingsville.