Census Coalition Commends New Independent Study on Census-Guided Financial Assistance to Rural America

Some States Would Fare Worse If 2020 Count Less Accurate

WASHINGTON– While the results of the 2020 decennial census are expected to determine the allocation of more than $8.5 trillion in federal funds over the next decade, a new deeper dive into the numbers shows a significant impact on Rural America according to a new study prepared by the Counting for Dollars Project, led by Professor Andrew Reamer at George Washington University.

A forthcoming report will show that in Fiscal Year 2016 approximately $860 billion from 50 large federal financial assistance programs was distributed across the states based on data derived from the 2010 Census. The new rural supplement to this study looks at six large U.S. Department of Agriculture rural assistance programs, state-by-state, that distribute more than $25 billion each year to states, localities and households in Rural America including for:

  • low to moderate income housing loans
  • rural electrification loans and loan guarantees
  • water and waste disposal systems for rural communities
  • rural rental assistance programs
  • business and industry loans, and
  • the cooperative extension service

“While the fair and equitable distribution of federal financial assistance to governments and households in each state will depend on the accuracy of the 2020 Census, in rural areas, the dependency on federal help is even greater,” said Professor Reamer.

Phil Sparks of the Census Project said the study revealed that all of America has a great deal at stake in a successful 2020 Census, and that rural America may have an even greater stake. “Congress should look hard at this because it has a real myth busting quality about who most stands to benefit from a full, fair and accurate count in 2020” said Sparks.

The report includes a state by state impact of federal funding targeted for rural America, with some surprising states near the top of the list. The ten states with the largest funding in Fiscal Year 2016 from rural programs according to the study were:

1 Georgia $1,435,939,900
2 North Carolina $1,369,804,196
3 Virginia $1,176,559,104
4 South Carolina $975,637,656
5 Texas $957,457,542
6 Tennessee $947,115,350
7 Florida $907,186,691
8 Kentucky $902,493,126
9 Michigan $862,138,937
10 Missouri $808,786,169

A more detailed report on Rural America Assistance Programs guided by Census numbers will be forthcoming from the George Washington Institute of Public Policy later in September 2018.

The full study can be found here.