One of the most powerful things you can do for yourself, your family, and your community is to participate in the census. Your participation helps make sure there is enough funding for the programs and services that we all rely on like parks, schools, public transportation, housing, hospitals, and more. If communities are undercounted, they will not have the resources they need or a voice in the policy decisions that affect them.
Reasons you should participate in Census 2020:
The Census is central to our democracy. It makes sure everyone is equally represented at the local, state, and national levels. Census data determines the number of U.S. representatives each state sends to Congress and sets the district boundaries for congressional, state senator, assembly member, county supervisor, and city council elections.
Funding for Critical Programs and Services
Census participation impacts the programs and services we can offer our community because the federal government uses the census count to determine how to allocate $675 billion per year in funding to state and local governments. That money goes toward critical programs that support education, housing, health and transportation services in our community. California could lose up to $1,000 in federal funds for each person not counted in Census 2020, for each of the next 10 years, according to the most recent analysis from George Washington University's study titled Counting for Dollars 2020.
Data to Improve Our Community
Census data is used to make other important decisions in our community:
- Local governments use census data for public safety and emergency preparedness.
- Businesses use census data to decide where to open facilities and what types of services/products to provide.
- Developers use census data to build new homes and revitalize old neighborhoods.
- Transportation planners use census data to decide on public transit routes.
- Citizen organizations rely on census data to identify community needs, request and fund programs, monitor trends and assess program effectiveness.
- Residents use census data to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
Background and Challenges
For more information about the challenges faced on the upcoming Census 2020 survey,as well as supporting information about the census, see the documents below: