WHAT IS THE 2020 CENSUS?

Taking the Census will be the most important thing you can do for yourself, your family and neighborhood as a resident of the District of Columbia. 

That time is fast approaching in 2020 – and it’s not just an election. It’s that time every 10 years when the United States federal government must ensure a complete count of every resident in the country.  It’s also the law. ​

​The federal government must conduct a complete count of every person who lives in the United States. If the government fails to do this simple task, it is violating the Constitution. It is perhaps the single most important federal agency in existence.  

Counting every resident determines how the federal government, along with state and local governments, allocate crucial resources.  In the case of the District of Columbia, it will determine where $6.3 billion in Census-directed federal funding goes, in addition to $3 billion annually. Will you get new or improved schools? Will you have better transportation options? Will your children have parks to play in? Will companies build businesses and grow jobs in your neighborhood? Will you get access to fresh food? Will you be able to afford the housing you need? And what about emergency economic assistance in the event you are unemployed? The data drawn from the Census casts judgement on all those questions and so much more.

why is a complete count important?

An incomplete Census detrimental to our communities.  Of course, it is essential for us to know just how many people live in the country. But, it’s a lot more than that.  Census data determines how entire communities are shaped, how many resources they have access to and how much influence or representation they have in Congress, state capitols and city halls.  

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Currently, the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that Black residents account for only 13% of the overall U.S. population. Yet, the U.S. Census Bureau - by its own admission - missed counting 2.1% of the Black population in the 2010 Census. They undercounted in the District of Columbia, too.

Black people are actually 15% (or more) of the U.S. population - and there are more Black people in the District than the Census Bureau will officially admit. Together, we can stop them from undercounting again. 

© 2019 Greater Washington Urban League

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