Why Census Matters to Cities
- An accurate census helps ensure fair representation at all levels of government. The primary constitutional purpose for the decennial census is to determine how many congressional representatives each state will have for the next decade and to ensure equal representation in the redistricting process. For instance, congressional districts and the boundaries of your city ward are determined by census numbers.
- The census directly impacts the funding your city will receive over the next decade. Population counts and statistics derived from both the decennial census and other surveys determine the annual allocation of more than $800 billion in federal investment across states, counties and cities. While many financial assistance programs and block grants, like the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), are distributed to cities based on American Community Survey (ACS) statistics, the benchmark for all ACS data is the decennial census.
- The census provides the most reliable and complete data for research, decision making and planning for both the public and private sectors. Academic institutions, medical facilities, businesses of all sizes and all levels of government rely on census data to inform their research, decision making and planning. While the decennial census only asks a few basic questions, the population counts and demographic data that it produces serve as a benchmark for most other current statistics that help us gain deeper insights into our communities.
2020 Census Toolkit for State and Local Officials
Released by the U.S. Census Bureau in August 2019, this toolkit provides local leaders with resources to help increase response rates to the Census, create public advertising campaigns, access “hard to count” communities and respond to constituent inquiries. Download Toolkit
What Your City Needs to Know to Get An Accurate Count
During our 2019 FLC Annual Conference, we hosted a workshop featuring a representative from the U.S. Census Bureau to provide an overview of why the 2020 Census is different and its importance to local governments. View Workshop Presentation