- On June 10, 2020
2020 Census: Help Give Your Community the Resources it Needs
Every 10 years, the Federal Government is constitutionally required to count every person living in the United States through the Census. This data helps inform the process of redistricting and Congressional representation and provides residents across the country with a once-in-a-decade opportunity to help their community gain the resources it needs to thrive.
The 2020 Census will provide the federal government with data about the population size and income level of communities across the United States. This allows federal, state and local officials to determine which areas have the greatest need and allocate resources accordingly to fund critical public services that help create a more equitable society. Here, we walk through some of the many areas that benefit from a complete count in the 2020 Census.
The population count provided by the 2020 Census helps determine the number of seats each state has in the federal House of Representatives. Congressional lawmakers have the responsibility to advocate for the needs and political viewpoints of their constituents. An accurate population count designates which communities need more or less representation in the federal government, which can greatly define the issues that are brought to attention and addressed through federal lawmaking.
Funding for public education
2020 Census data will help the Federal Government identify which public school systems have the greatest need and allocate funds accordingly. This funding helps districts like Boston Public Schools make much-needed infrastructural improvements and create a better educational experience for all by reducing class sizes, hiring new teachers, purchasing new educational materials and financing special education programs.
Additionally, 2020 Census data will help determine how much funding our schools get for programs that support and empower students who come from low-income families. Title I grants, for example, are distributed to communities with the highest percentage of low-income families. These grants provide schools with resources to help create more equity in education and reduce the achievement gap between students of different socioeconomic backgrounds. Census data also informs funding for critical support services, such as reduced-rate school lunch and preschool programs.
Improvements to transportation
Data from the 2020 Census will help shape federal, state and local officials’ decisions about infrastructure funding. Over $675 billion in federal funds are spent on transportation services each year, and the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development use census data to determine where this money should be spent. 2020 Census data will also help state and local leaders identify gaps in public transportation. For example, if the data shows that an area has experienced significant population growth over the last ten years, the MBTA might decide to add bus routes that better serve demand in that area. In Massachusetts, this data has the potential to provide crucial updates to our transportation system, which may help improve residents’ commutes or access to alternative modes of transportation.
Resources for low-income individuals and families
Information provided by 2020 Census data will show officials which communities have the highest numbers of low-income individuals and families, allowing them to provide resources where they’re needed most. In 2015 alone, Massachusetts received $16 billion in federal funding to help support financially burdened citizens through assistance programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, Medicare and Section 8 Vouchers. A near complete population count in 2020 is required to ensure that these resources are available to the people who rely on them every day.
The 2020 Census will also guide how much federal funding goes to organizations that support low-income citizens. IBA, for example, relies on financing from federal grants to fund both our affordable housing properties and our programming for residents and members of the community.
Founded on the principle of community empowerment, IBA strives to improve our community and create a more equitable society. Ensure that your community receives essential federal resources by visiting https://my2020census.gov/ or calling 844-330-2020 to complete your census today.
We are proud to be working to develop housing opportunities for low-income households in Boston. For more information on how you can support IBA, please visit our page: http://www.ibaboston.org/donat......