Because It Counts: Tools for Ensuring an Accurate 2020 Census

Posted August 12, 2017
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Blog becauseitcounts 2017

As the 2020 U.S. cen­sus approach­es, the Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence on Civ­il Rights has pro­duced a series of fact sheets and data tables to encour­age an accu­rate record of peo­ple most often missed by the decen­ni­al count, includ­ing com­mu­ni­ties of col­or, res­i­dents of rur­al areas, immi­grants and young chil­dren.

The new tools, sup­port­ed by the Casey Foun­da­tion, are designed to help advo­cates and com­mu­ni­ties under­stand and com­mu­ni­cate the need for par­tic­u­lar atten­tion to the fac­tors that cre­ate per­sis­tent under­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of cer­tain groups in the cen­sus. Under­rep­re­sen­ta­tion of those groups, known as the hard to count,” leaves them at great dis­ad­van­tage when it comes to resources and pol­i­cy choic­es in vital areas from edu­ca­tion to trans­porta­tion to access to technology.

Accord­ing to the mate­ri­als, for exam­ple, post-sur­vey analy­sis by the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau found that the 2010 cen­sus missed just more than 2% of the non-His­pan­ic black pop­u­la­tion while over­count­ing the non-His­pan­ic white pop­u­la­tion by 0.83%.

Resources avail­able on the Lead­er­ship Con­fer­ence web­site include:

Orga­ni­za­tions in North Car­oli­na, New York, Ohio and Cal­i­for­nia that are part of the Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Net­work are using the resources to devel­op info­graph­ics in their states, edu­cate pol­i­cy­mak­ers about needs for fund­ing and tar­get pri­or­i­ty com­mu­ni­ties for out­reach and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Local Update of Cen­sus Address­es, the first stage of prepa­ra­tion for the 2020 count.

Bet­ter infor­ma­tion leads to bet­ter deci­sions,” said Cindy Guy, the Foundation’s vice pres­i­dent for Research, Eval­u­a­tion, Evi­dence and Data. By help­ing to make this infor­ma­tion avail­able, we are hop­ing our part­ners will be equipped to edu­cate pol­i­cy­mak­ers on what it takes to con­duct an effec­tive cen­sus and the ben­e­fits in doing so for chil­dren and fam­i­lies across the country.”

The Foun­da­tion is fund­ing a num­ber of efforts to encour­age an accu­rate 2020 Cen­sus, and is par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Fun­ders Cen­sus Ini­tia­tive, an effort of a num­ber of philanthropies.

Explore the resources

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