Business Coalition Urges Congress to Fully Fund Census Bureau in Advance of 2020 Count

For Release
May 15, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. business community banded together today in support of funding for the 2020 Census, which is “vital to businesses across America to promote economic development, identify potential customers and create jobs.”

In a letter sent to House and Senate appropriators, the 28 national business groups urged them to go beyond the Administration’s FY 2019 funding request for the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure an accurate 2020 Census, as well as continued investment in other critical surveys, such as the Economic Census and the American Community Survey.

According to the letter, “the original White House request for the Census Bureau was $3.8 billion in FY 2019, $460 million below Secretary Wilbur Ross’ revised cost estimate ($4.26 billion) and $933 million short of what the Census stakeholder community contends we need ($4.735 billion).”

The House CJS Appropriations Subcommittee got the message, approving almost $4.8 billion for the Bureau on May 9.

That boost could be crucial, according to the letter, since underfunding in FY2019, “would lead to inaccuracies that will have a significant, long-lasting impact on businesses who depend on this trusted official data to make material decisions each day. Manufacturers, retailers, and financial analysts use the data to measure a company’s health, compensate employees, quantify ROI, identify new opportunities, forecast performance, and optimize consumer price and strategies. Without accurate Census data on the U.S. population, our economy would suffer.”

According to Howard Fienberg of the Insights Association, who organized the letter, “the Census doesn’t just underpin American democracy, it is vital to the American economy. This data helps U.S. businesses promote economic development, identify potential customers and create jobs.”

A full copy of the letter can be found here.