Census Group Calls Out New Study Showing At Least $6 Trillion Next Decade from Feds to States Determined By 2020 Census

For Release: August 22, 2017

WASHINGTON–The results of the 2020 decennial census are expected to determine the annual allocation of more than $6 trillion in federal funds over the next decade, according to a new study prepared by the Counting for Dollars Project, led by Professor Andrew Reamer at George Washington University. The report indicates that in fiscal year 2015, 16 large federal programs—such as Medicaid, food stamps, Medicare, Head Start, highways, housing vouchers and school lunches—distributed $589.7 billion per year on the basis of the 2010 Census. The study provides a 50-state listing of the amount of funds provided by each program.

“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,” said Professor Reamer.

The report’s figure is significantly higher than the $400 billion per year estimate in advance of the last national head count in 2010, and points to why it is critical for a fully-funded and well-prepared census operation 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 further evidence for congressional action this fall to significantly increase the appropriation for the U.S. Census Bureau. As much as $6 to $7 trillion in federal funds are at stake before the nation conducts its next head count in 2030.

“The census must be fairly and effectively administered to ensure that all individuals are accurately counted. We urge Congress to fully fund these efforts,” said National Association of Counties Executive Director Matthew Chase. “As this report demonstrates, the 2020 Census will guide significant federal investments for years to come. When these investments are equitably distributed, state and local governments, including counties, can best serve our residents, especially those most in need.”

Phil Sparks of the Census Project said the study was a powerful testament about the need for adequate resources for the Census Bureau for FY 18. “Any member of Congress or senator should look hard at this study before they cast a vote on appropriations for the Census Bureau next month,” said Sparks. “If Congress short-changes the Census Bureau, the ox they gore may be their own state, when it comes to a funding based upon census data,” Sparks added.

The full study can be found at:

Detailed findings on each of the 16 programs the group already researched can be found at the links below:
Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid)
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
Medicare Part B (Supplemental Medical Insurance) – Physicians Fee Schedule Services
Highway Planning and Construction
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies
National School Lunch Program
Special Education Grants (IDEA)
State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)
Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program (Project-based)
Head Start/Early Head Start
Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
Foster Care (Title IV-E)
Health Center Programs (Community, Migrant, Homeless, Public Housing)
Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)