Count All Kids: What's at Stake if 2020 Census Misses Children in Your Community

Posted October 20, 2018
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
We must count all kids in the 2020 Census

A new short video pro­duced by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion is some­thing you should watch if one of the fol­low­ing describes you: city coun­cilper­son, nurse, small busi­ness own­er, edu­ca­tor, coun­ty social ser­vices work­er, mem­ber of the cler­gy, librar­i­an, hos­pi­tal admin­is­tra­tor, par­ent, neigh­bor or some­one who sim­ply wants to see Amer­i­ca’s kids thrive.

If that sounds like just about every adult, it’s intend­ed to, because as our Count All Kids” video explains, our chil­dren need us to ensure every child is count­ed in the upcom­ing U.S. cen­sus. The Con­sti­tu­tion man­dates that we count every­one in the coun­try every 10 years, and the 2020 cen­sus is less than 18 months away.

The chal­lenge is daunt­ing: Researchers believe up to 2 mil­lion chil­dren under age 5 could be missed in the count, for a vari­ety of rea­sons. That’s about how many were missed last time around, and the prob­lem has wors­ened with every cen­sus since 1980.

And the stakes are high: Com­mu­ni­ties where chil­dren are missed in the count risk reduc­tions in fed­er­al fund­ing for schools, hos­pi­tals, libraries and oth­er resources. An inac­cu­rate cen­sus is a mis­take we’d have to live with for 10 years.

But there are steps you can take where you live to ensure that all kids are count­ed. As the video explains, On a local lev­el… state, coun­ty and city offi­cials must engage com­mu­ni­ty part­ners — from nurs­es and child care providers to teach­ers and faith lead­ers — now to reach hard-to-count house­holds with young kids to encour­age par­tic­i­pa­tion in the 2020 census.”

Check out our Count All Kids” video, and share it with com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers and oth­ers, espe­cial­ly those whose work involves chil­dren and fam­i­lies. The soon­er that schools, local gov­ern­ments and oth­ers start plan­ning, the bet­ter the count will be.

Addi­tion­al Cen­sus Resources on the Child Undercount

To learn more, vis­it coun​tal​lkids​.org and down­load the Casey Foun­da­tion’s 2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book, which focused on the poten­tial for chil­dren to be missed in the 2020 cen­sus. You may also wish to view a more in-depth video pro­duced by the Ford Foundation.

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