The 2020 census is right around the corner, and a city in north-central North Dakota is on the cusp of hitting a big population milestone. Reaching that milestone could have a big impact on everyone in the Magic City.

In 2017, the population of Minot was a little over 47,000 and this year, the city his hoping to hit 50,000.

“If we can reach that 50,000 population threshold, that means more federal funding for the community, but really it means more opportunities,” said Derek Hackett, Public Information Officer for the City of Minot.

Reaching the 50,000 mark would classify Minot as a “metropolis” by the U.S. Census Bureau. Hackett said it would put the city on the map for business development, larger franchises and big box stores. But first things first: every Minot resident needs to be counted.

He added, “Just don’t forget. Across the nation, the most undercounted population are children 0 to five.”

He said younger kids are just as important to the census as adults. So who else needs to take part in the census?

“Oil field workers, transient workers, if they live here for six months and a day, they count here,” said Hackett.

The potential for more businesses is important, but one organization has another reason to push for a complete count.

“By every person that is counted, every low-income person that is counted, it has a specific reflection on the amount of funds we receive,” said Willy Soderholm, executive director of Community Action.

He said a low census count makes it harder for them to help people in need. But he said he’s hopeful this time around.

“Considering that the census is only done every 10 years, for every person that isn’t counted, the low-income person that we serve, that’s money that we will not receive for that 10 year period of time,” he added.

With so much at stake, city officials and businesses are urging all of us to participate in the census to unlock opportunities for everyone.

In mid-March, homes will begin receiving invitations to complete the 2020 Census.

Once the invitation arrives, you can respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone or by mail.