Nonprofit Network Blog

Census 101: What You Need To Know.

Friday, June 21, 2019 11:47 AM | Tracey Wilson (Administrator)

Regina Pinney Profile Photo today

Regina Pinney
Nonprofit Network Executive Director

Census 101: What You Need to Know 

The 2020 Census is closer than you think. Here’s a quick refresher of what it is and why it’s essential that everyone is counted.

Nonprofits Matter

Nonprofits will play a crucial role in the 2020 Census to make sure the communities you serve are properly represented in the Census, especially in communities that are hard to count or traditionally under-counted like those experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ+, racial minorities and many more.  Now is the time to get informed and make a plan. 

Everyone Counts

The census counts every person living in the U.S. once, only once, and in the right place.  If you don’t complete the census – you don’t get counted.  And for the next ten years, you lose your opportunity to be seen when decisions are made about road funding, funding for programs like food assistance and schools, and when redistricting happens.

It’s about fair representation

Every 10 years the results of the census are used to reapportion the House of Representatives, determining how many seats each state gets and where those lines are drawn.  Historically, people of color, people who live in poverty and many other marginalized and disenfranchised populations don’t complete the census which means they get misrepresented in these conversations.

It’s in the constitution

The U.S. Constitution mandates that everyone in the country be counted every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.  Census information is confidential.  This is the first year that the census will be conducted primarily through the internet bringing the Census into the age of technology. This saves the taxpayer money and will decrease the cost of the Census. 

It’s about $675 billion

The distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on census data.  That Money is spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.  It’s important for nonprofits because Census data is used for grant making, design of where programs should be created and where populations who might need additional services are located. 

It’s about redistricting

After each decade’s census, state officials redraw the boundaries of the congressional and state legislative districts in their states to account for population shifts. An accurate count is essential for fair representation. 

Taking part is your civic duty

Completing the census is mandatory: it’s a way to participate in our democracy and say “I COUNT!”

Learn more HERE

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