Here's why an accurate count matters:
It helps your community receive funding for the services it deserves and needs. For many federal programs, the funds are allocated in part based on population counts and characteristics. If some residents are not counted, your community could lose millions in federal funding over a 10-year period for vital programs and services such as Medicaid, maternal and child health programs, public housing assistance, nutritional programs, community development, Head Start, and other educational needs.
It helps determine where you vote and what school your child attends. Correct counts are important for decisions made on the boundaries for voting districts and school systems. The data have been used for legal challenges, such as complaints that voting districts were drawn to lessen the political rights of minorities.
It can help provide more local jobs and places to shop. Businesses use census data to help them decide where to open stores, offices, shopping centers, and manufacturing plants. Governments use the data to help guide their economic development decisions.
It helps protect everyone's civil rights. Correct population counts of minorities are important for the enforcement of civil rights and anti-discrimination laws regarding voting, housing, employment, and education.
It helps identify your community's concerns and needs. Researchers use the data for studies of differences in medical care, disparities in the criminal justice system and more.