The census is here.

Residents should be on the lookout for a once-every-decade delivery into your mailbox. The 2020 census is underway and, if you have not received them already, census invitations are expected to be delivered to every household by the end of this week.

For the first time, you also will be able to fill out your census forms online.

You may think that the census just provides a population head count every decade, but the information collected through the census impacts everyday life here in Worthington and across the country.

More than $675 billion in federal funding flows back to the states and local communities each year based on census data. Census results determine funding levels for services and facilities in the community, including roads and other infrastructure improvements, emergency services, health care, senior services, jobs, schools and businesses.

Some of the projects here in the Worthington community that have benefited from federal funding include the recent reconstruction of the 270-23-315 interchange, the Northeast Gateway intersection redesign at Wilson Bridge, Worthington Galena and Huntley roads, and emergency equipment for first responders.

In addition, census results are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts and determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is a lot at stake, and that's why it is important to make sure every person is counted.

New in 2020, each home will receive a postcard invitation to respond to a short questionnaire -- by phone, mail or online. Your census invitation will include an individual census ID code to assure your privacy and prevent fraud. Responses to the census are secure and protected by federal law. Individual household and business survey responses to the U.S. Census Bureau are kept confidential.

April 1 is Census Day. Where you live April 1 determines where you are counted. Students in college April 1 should list their college address when completing their forms.

Residents are encouraged to complete the census right away. If your questionnaire is not completed by Census Day, you can expect more follow-up mailings and eventually a knock on your door and a personal visit from a census taker. When you see the 2020 census postcard arrive in your mail, don't set it aside.

We appreciate your help in making sure that every Worthington resident is counted.

For more information, go to 2020census.gov.

Matt Greeson is Worthington's city manager.