Brad Finstad

April 1 is National Census Day, the day when all of us, if we haven’t done so already, should complete and return the 2010 census form recently mailed to every U.S. residence.

While the census is always important, the 2010 census is especially important to Minnesota.

The U.S. Constitution requires a national census once every 10 years to count the population and determine the number of seats each state gets in the 435-seat U.S. House of Representatives.

Minnesota currently has eight representatives in the U.S. House. However, due to strong population gains in southern and western states, we could lose a seat—and the clout that goes with it—if a full count is not achieved in Minnesota this year.

Please do your part to ensure Minnesota’s interests are fully represented in Washington, DC. If you haven’t yet, take 10 minutes now to complete and mail back your census form. It’s the most important thing you can do this year to help ensure a bright future for our great state.

(Brad Finstad is executive director of the Center for Rural Policy and Development. He can be reached at