Information provided by prb.org
State population counts from the decennial census are used to reapportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. No state has permanent claim to their current number of assigned House seats. State population counts determine how the 435 seats are split across the 50 states based on each state’s share of the national total. After the 2020 Census, southern and western states are expected to gain seats—and political clout—at the expense of states in the Northeast and Midwest. The Census Bureau will publish apportionment population counts by December 31, 2020, affecting the size of state delegations for the 2022 U.S. House elections and state votes in the U.S. Electoral College for the 2024 presidential election.
State and local officials use decennial census results to help redraw congressional, state, and local district boundaries to contain roughly equal numbers of people to ensure each person’s voting power is closely equivalent (meeting the one-person, one-vote rule). The Census Bureau will publish redistricting data no later than March 31, 2021—within one year of Census Day.
Census totals help determine the amount of funding that state governments and local communities receive from the federal government for the next decade. Census Bureau data were used to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funds to states and local communities for health, education, housing, and infrastructure programs during Fiscal Year 2015. Accurate census counts ensure that funding is equitably distributed for numerous programs such as Medicaid, highway planning and construction, special education grants to states, the National School Lunch Program, and Head Start.
Data from the census inform a wide range of government, business, and nonprofit decisionmaking. Governments and nonprofit organizations rely on decennial census data to determine the need for new roads, hospitals, schools, and other public sector investments. Census data are also vital to businesses as a key source of information about the U.S. population’s changing needs.
Detailed population information is critical for emergency response in the wake of disasters. First responders and disaster recovery personnel use census data to help identify where and how much help is needed. Similarly, demographic details from the census assist epidemiologists and public health personnel in everything from tracking disease outbreaks, to combating the opioid epidemic, to improving child health.
Decennial census data provide a population base for dozens of federal surveys. The Census Bureau’s Population Estimates Program uses census data in combination with birth, death, and migration data to produce annual population and housing unit estimates. These estimates are then used as population controls for the American Community Survey, Current Population Survey, and many other federal surveys—so that the numbers of housing units and people in certain categories agree with the Census Bureau’s official estimates.
Information provided by nonprofitvote.org
Census data is also used in ways that are of special importance to immigrants, including:
Numbers matter. In the past, immigrants have been more likely to be missed in the census. Getting everyone counted will demonstrate the strength of our communities and will give us a bigger voice in government, business, and decisions that affect our lives and families.
For a list of translated and printable guides, click here.
For translated versions of the video, click here.
These language glossaries provide translations of commonly used terms for the 2020 Census. To see full list, click here.