Census Experts Commend Updated Study Showing Almost $9 Trillion Next Decade from Feds to States Depends on 2020 Census

On the eve of the release of the President’s proposed FY2020 Budget, a coalition of census experts pointed to an updated study that shows the results of the 2020 Decennial Census will help guide the allocation of more than $880 billion a year in federal funds for the next decade. According to an updated analysis led by Professor Andrew Reamer of George Washington University, more than 55 federal programs use census data to determine how federal funds are allocated to state and local governments. The 50-state listing of funds directed annually for health care, Head Start, roads and highway, school lunch programs, housing assistance, and a variety of other programs, was recently completed. The detailed tables on national and state by state impacts can be found here.

“The fair and equitable distribution of federal financial assistance to state and local governments and households will depend on the accuracy of the 2020 Census,” said Professor Reamer. The George Washington University project is called “Counting for Dollars.”

The estimate of $883,094,826,042 is more than double the $400 billion estimate in advance of the last national head count in 2010, and points to why it is critical for Census operations to run smoothly if states and localities are to receive their fair share. Representatives of a coalition of census stakeholders representing business, industry, civil rights, academia, and state and local government pointed to the new findings as to what’s at stake for the nation in next year’s national head count.The GWU study demonstrates almost $9 trillion in federal funds will be shared with state and local governments across the nation between 2020 and the next head count in 2030, all dependent on accurate, complete and reliable census data.

Mary Jo Hoeksema of the Census Project said the study is a testament to the need for adequate resources for the Census Bureau as Congress is about to receive the President’s budget.

“The Census Project will refer all Members of Congress to this incredibly thorough study to emphasize the importance of full support for the Census Bureau,” said Hoeksema. “This comprehensive data proves that short-changing the Census planning will only cost local communities all across the nation,” added Hoeksema.