The Census is mandated under the US Constitution in Article 1, Section 2. Census data is used to:
1. Determine the number of seats in the House of Representatives, electoral votes, and redistricting
2. Calculate federal aid to state governments. State and local governments use Census data to redistribute federal aid to support essential services.
3. Plan business and community services, public health initiatives, philanthropic investments, etc.
While the US Census Bureau conducts its systematic count of the population every 10 years, the Census bureau collects and distributes annual data used by nearly every sector for planning purposes. The American Community Service (ACS) data is Census data and it helps community leaders, business, government officials to understand trends and changes in local communities. It is the premier source of comprehensive population and housing information.
WHAT's at Stake?
The federal government will distribute $675 billion to state governments based on the 2020 Census data. Based on the 2010 Census data, NY receives $53.2 billion dollars each year to pay for vital community resources and programs. The federal distribution is currently as follows:
A Closer look at 2020:
The Census is going on-line for the first time and new fears about cyber security are real. For those who don’t want to complete an on-line form, participation over the phone will be an option. There are additional concerns about the lack of participation in communities with poor internet access.
The federal government has allocated less money to conduct the Census in 2020. The impact of this has already been felt: there will be a reduced number of regional offices overseeing the Complete Count work, the three field-tests were reduced to one, and the communications strategy has been delayed.
National rhetoric that vilifies immigrants may instill fear in some groups and deter them from completing Census questionnaires.
What can philanthropy do to support Census 2020?
Understand, support, and help coordinate local organizations who will support complete count mobilization efforts
Help and support create local and/or state Complete Count Committee(s)
Encourage local and state government to provide funding for complete count work
Engage businesses in discussions about the Census and ask for their support
Convene other funders in your region to understand and support Census activities
Organize grantees and support collaborative efforts to support Census
New York Coalitions/Advocates Supporting Efforts Around Census 2020
Foundations Supporting Complete Count Efforts in New York:
Brooklyn Community Foundation
Central New York Community Foundation
Charles H. Revson Foundation
Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley
JP Morgan Chase
Long Island Community Foundation
Mertz Gilmore Foundation
New York Community Trust
New York Foundation
New York Women’s Foundation
Westchester Community Foundation
Zegar Family Foundation
Resources for Census 2020:
2020 Census Funder Tool Kit, Funders Census Initiative
Articles about Census in Rural America
Articles about Children Being Undercounted
Count All Kids - Census 2020, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Counting Children in the 2020 Census, US Census Bureau
Five Steps for Reducing the High Net Undercount of Young Children in the 2020 Census, William O'Hare, Sr. Consultant, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Libraries and the 2020 Census, American Library Association
Citizenship Question Nonresponse: Demographic Profile of People Who Do Not Answer the American Community Survey Citizenship Question, Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, September 2018
American Community Survey and Civil Rights, The Leadership Conference
Census 2020, Menu of Options for Funders, Funders Census Initiative
2020 Census Complete Count Committee Guide, Census Bureau
Counting for Dollars, George Washington Institute of Public Policy
Race and Ethnicity in the 2020 Census: Improving Data to Capture a Multi-Ethnic America, Leadership Conference Education Fund
Seven Things Funders Can Do to Support LUCA, Funders Census Initiative
Questions Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey, United States Census Bureau
Counting for Dollars Analysis - What is New York’s Share?, GW Institute of Public Policy
Census 2020: NYS Should Invest $40 million to Fund Community Outreach, Fiscal Policy Institute
Census Hard to Count Maps, City University of New York
Everyone Counts: How 2020 Census Data Matter to Your Bottom Line, National Association of Counties
NY Counts, Data and Information for Census 2020, Rockefeller Institute of Government
5 Reasons a Robust Decennial Census Benefits All Americans, Urban Institute
2010 Census: Implications for New York States’ Local Governments, New York State Office of the State Comptroller
Foundations Call on Governor Cuomo To Support Census Outreach From Harlem to Hollis, Harlem World Magazine, February 2019
New York is dropping the ball on census prep, Crain’s New York Business, February 2019
A Census Question That Could Change How Power Is Divided in America, NY Times, July 2018
New York funders gear up for 2020 census challenges, NYN Media, July 2018
ACLU sues over plans for citizenship question on 2020 census, AP News, June 2018
Trump Administration Plans to Check Your Answer on Census Citizenship Question, Wall Street Journal
AP Fact Check: Trump officials strain truth on census change, Washington Post