What is a census and why is it important?
Once a decade, America comes together to count every resident in the United States, creating national awareness of the importance of the census and its valuable statistics. The decennial census was first taken in 1790, as mandated by the Constitution. It counts our population and households, providing the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing more than $675 billion in federal funds annually to support states, counties and communities’ vital programs — impacting housing, education, transportation, employment, health care and public policy.
How the Census benefits your community
Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. People in your community use census data in all kinds of ways, such as these:
- Residents use the census to support community initiatives involving legislation, quality-of-life and consumer advocacy.
- Businesses use Census Bureau data to decide where to build factories, offices and stores, and these create jobs.
- Local government officials use the census to ensure public safety and plan new schools and hospitals.
- Real estate developers and city planners use the census to plan new homes and improve neighborhoods.
Census data impacts programs and services like:
• School lunch programs
• Community development grants
• Road and school construction
• Medical services
• Business locations
The 2020 Census is important for you and your community.