Census Stakeholders Say President’s FY 2019 Funding Request Only Keeps 2020 Count on Life Support

WASHINGTON – Key stakeholders who closely monitor preparations for the 2020 Decennial Census said today that last week’s bipartisan budget compromise, coupled with today’s FY 2019 Budget of the President, falls short of what is required and only keeps census preparations on life support.

The President’s budget calls for a total of $3.231 billion, which is well below the year-over-year historical percentage increase typical in prior census planning at this point in the decade.

“This is less than a third the increase in 2008,” said Census Project spokesman Phil Sparks. “Last week’s bipartisan compromise on FY 2018 funding was already below what was needed to fully fund advertising, promotion, and partnership activities essential to gain public cooperation with the census count. For some reason, this administration continues to just barely keep the minimum funding needed for a full, fair and accurate count,” Sparks added.

“We urge Congress to consider this request today as an opening ante. Frankly, 2019 is the critical year for funding census operations to ensure a quality count,” said Sparks.

The Census Project continues to be concerned about planning delays and funding issues with respect to the important Integrated Communications Program (ICP) that is vital to gaining the fullest possible public cooperation with the national head count.

“Decennial census data are central to our democracy, affecting not only apportionment and redistricting, but also the distribution of approximately $600 billion in federal assistance to states and localities each year,” said Phil Sparks of the Census Project.