Census 2020

In March 2020, the United States will conduct its decennial census. An accurate count is essential for distribution of federal services and the allocation of representatives in Congress. It also serves as a resource for public and private sector analysts as they confront our nation’s most pressing issues.

Some of the largest programs that rely on Census data include:

  •      Medicaid
  •      Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  •      Medicare Part B (supplemental medical insurance)
  •      Highway planning and construction
  •      Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers and Project-Based Housing Assistance
  •      Grants to local education agencies
  •      National School Lunch Program
  •      Special Education Grants (IDEA)
  •      State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)
  •      Head Start
  •      Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  •      Foster care
  •      Health center programs (community, migrant, homeless, public housing)
  •      Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)

Without an accurate count, states can miss out on vital federal funds.

Despite its importance, the Census faces a barrage of challenges this time around. On the surface, the cost of counting households has increased while response rates have decreased.

 

 

The census also faces a trend of staffing constraints.

 

This special series will delve into the importance of the census and the current barriers it faces to ensure that all Americans, regardless of income, region, or citizenship status gain the representation they deserve. A complete list of the pieces included in the series can be found below, in order of publication:

 

Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash. Data visualizations by Hilary Gelfond.
Series created by Maggie Kadifa and Hilary Gelfond.