When David Byerman says no other state in the union has more to gain than Nevada in the 2010 Census, he means it.
Nevada ranked No. 1 in growth from 1990 to 2000 when the Silver State's population mushroomed by 66.27 percent. While growth has slowed this decade, Nevada's growth rate is still the highest in the country after a one-year loss to Arizona, based on census estimates.
All those new bodies -- about 1 million more since the last census in 2000 -- mean more federal dollars in local and state grants, if they are counted.
"No state in the country has more to gain from the census than we do here, given how much this state has grown," said Byerman, chief liaison to Nevada for the U.S. Department of Commerce. He oversaw census preparations for 2000 in Nevada and is again in charge for 2010.
"I look at this as the highest possible stakes," he said. "A lot of money is parceled out by census data."
That money is needed for schools, roads, social services, and much more. And considering how much our state government is struggling to pay the bills, all that new federal money will really come in handy in 2011.
So for the sake of Nevada, ignore Michelle Bachmann's crazy Census rants and just fill it out. Believe me, you'll thank me later. ;-)