The decennial census is required by the Constitution, and for good reason. It is the basis of our sharing power in our democracy, and because of that, it is important that the count be fair, accurate, and reliable.
Who uses the Census?
- The 215 federal programs that allocate federal dollars, including education grants, construction assistance, and CHIP.
- Policy advocates like the Minnesota Budget Project, who use data generated by the Census Bureau can help understand what work has been done, and what work still needs to be done.
- Communities and nonprofits looking to make smart decisions together about how to build a prosperous future.
Because a fair and accurate census is so important, the Census Bureau needs to have sufficient funding not only to adequately prepare for this massive undertaking, but to improve the delivery of census, in order to avoid damaging inaccuracies.
Some parts of the country are much more vulnerable to inaccuracies and underreporting. People of color, densely populated urban areas, rural areas, the LGBT community, young children and non-native English speakers are disproportionately hurt if the Census does not reach them.
The current funding levels for the Census Bureau are preventing important preparation activities from happening, including dress rehearsals of integrated operations and IT systems that improve accuracy and keeps costs down in the long run.
The Census needs more than “flat funding,” it needs a steady ramp-up in funding to support critical preparations that make sure the 2020 Census will be fair, accurate and equitable.