Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Census Day! Here's what's at stake.

1. Congressional apportionment.
After the 2000 Census, Utah missed a 4th seat in Congress by only 857 residents. Its Census questionnaire response rate? 68%.

To the left is a map, based on population estimates as of July 1st, 2009, of which states stand to gain or lose political representation in the House for the 2012 election based on the 2010 Census enumeration going on right now.

For those states in danger of losing one or more seats, maximizing local Census participation rates during April 2010 is crucial to ensuring adequate representation in 2012.

2. Federal funding for our communities

Census counts are responsible for 31 percent of all federal assistance programs, responsible for distributing around $400 billion dollars every year. The bulk of this money goes towards state governments for Medicaid, transportation services, education, employment, and social services, community and regional development and much more.

Yearly funding translates into varying amounts per person, based on where they live and the areas income inequality, Medicaid income limits, and the percent of the population that is rural. However, the average per capita funding based on Census numbers is around $1,200 every year. This means that each person counted in the 2010 Census is essentially earning money for their communities for the next ten years.

Below is a list of the 15 largest per person census-guided funding for metro areas in FY 2008.

Metro Area
Per capita
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY $5,217.08 1
Sacramento--Arden-Arcade--Roseville, CA $3,959.61 2
Baton Rouge, LA $3,276.98 3
Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA $3,183.87 4
Austin-Round Rock, TX $2,216.76 5
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA $2,143.74 6
Jackson, MS $2,120.78 7
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA $2,117.48 8
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH $2,078.75 9
Madison, WI $2,055.46 10
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA $2,028.27 11
Memphis, TN-MS-AR $1,959.19 12
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT $1,917.27 13
Columbus, OH $1,857.29 14
Springfield, MA $1,852.30 15

Source- Brookings Institution

3. An accurate picture of our communities

Businesses, nonprofits, advocacy groups, foundations, research organizations and private citizens all use Census data to understand and convey the portrait of their communities.

Businesses use these data to decide where and how to invest and build locally. Nonprofits and advocate groups petition legislators and government agencies using Census data as evidence of needs, gaps or trends. Research organizations use data to identify and analyze local social and demographic trends.

Finally, all Americans rely on Census data to understand the demographic character of their communities.

So, Happy April 1st, Happy Census Day - and remember to mail it back!!

For more resources on the 2010 Census, visit or Nonprofits Count's online toolkit at

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