Democracy in Action: Census 2020

Boomers Leading Change (BLC) is a supporter and committed community advocate for Census 2020. Thanks to a grant from the Next Fifty Initiative we are on the front lines in ensuring that older Americans in our community get counted this year.   The Census outreach began January 21, 2020 and officially is completed on July 31, 2020–the last day for households to self-respond online, by phone or by mail. (Census timeline: The 2020 Census will provide a snapshot of our nation—our population, where we live, and so much more. … The results are critically important because this once-a-decade census data helps businesses, researchers, and communities make decisions.   The Census data findings will affect our communities every day. For example, the Census determines funding for school lunches, plans for highways, support for firefighters and families in need.    

Why is the Census so important?

The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.

Census information helps health providers predict the spread of diseases through communities with children or elderly people. And when disasters hit, the census tells rescuers how many people will need their help. Census numbers help industry reduce financial risk and locate potential markets.     The results of this once-a-decade count determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives. They are also used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.   Over the next decade, lawmakers, business owners, and many others will use 2020 Census data to make critical decisions. The results will show where communities need new schools, new clinics, new roads, and more services for families, older adults, and children.  

The results will also inform how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding are allocated to more than 100 programs, including Medicaid, Head Start, block grants for community mental health services, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.    The U.S. Constitution mandates that the country count its population once every 10 years. The results are used to adjust or redraw electoral districts, based on where populations have increased or decreased. State legislatures or independent bipartisan commissions are responsible for redrawing congressional districts. The U.S. Census Bureau provides states with population counts for this purpose.    

For more information regarding the value and impact of Census2020 please visit the link below: