The Census shapes the lives of Americans in a variety of ways -- the allocation of hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding; determining congressional representation; and planning at the federal, state, and community level.
Certain populations have historically been undercounted in the decennial Census, including young children under age five, people of color, immigrants, low-income populations, people experiencing homelessness, people living in non-traditional households, people with disabilities, and people who distrust the government. Targeted, specific outreach and engagement will help us get a complete and accurate count of these populations in the 2020 Census.
We can’t overstate this: young children under age 5 are the most highly and consistently undercounted population. Children who aren't counted in the 2020 Census won't be counted again until they are in high school - or even college and beyond. This means that potential funding to enrich their entire childhood will be lost.
Ensuring an accurate count is critical, so that our communities are appropriately funded, and Rhode Islanders are accurately represented!
If you have not already done so, take ten minutes to be counted by filling out the confidential Census survey at www.2020census.gov by September 30.
The results of the 2020 Census will inform decisions about:
- FUNDING: Census data allocates hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding to communities across the country—to support children's health care, child care, education, nutrition, child welfare, housing needs, and other critical programs and services.
- REPRESENTATION: 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. Rhode Island currently has two seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, Rhode Island is at risk of losing one of its two seats and some of its weight in the electoral college because our population growth has not kept pace with states in the South and West where more dramatic population growth has occurred. This slower growth rate makes it critical that every person get counted in 2020 to give Rhode Island a fighting chance of maintaining its representation.
- PLANNING: Census data is used to determine where communities need new schools, new hospitals and clinics, new infrastructure and roads, and more. Businesses and developers use Census data to decide where to invest. Local governments use the Census for public safety and emergency preparedness.
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT encourages all of our partners to spread the word throughout our diverse communities and networks that time is running out for every person in Rhode Island to be counted in the 2020 Census.