The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of census data

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It's not too late to be counted in the 2020 Census.

Emergency situations like the COVID-19 pandemic illustrate just how important it is for health care facilities in our communities to have the funding and resources they need to effectively support the populations they serve. Complete and accurate census data helps to make that possible.

Together with data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), census data also allows scientists and health care experts to model the potential impact of an emerging health threat. This is a powerful tool that enables them to anticipate needs and advise the nation’s policymakers on the expected demand for resources.

All of this data—made possible when we complete the census—is critical to helping the nation get ahead of our biggest challenges. 

Now more than ever, your response to the 2020 Census matters. Respond today, and make sure your family, friends and neighbors respond too. 

Take the Census

More ways the Census affects your everyday life

Census results inform planning and funding decisions for communities for critical public services. These services include:

Hospitals, health clinics, and health care services

  • Where hospitals and clinics are needed.
  • Block grant funding for the construction of hospitals and health care clinics.
  • Resources for health care facilities so they can effectively support the populations they serve. Hospitals Talking Pointscan also know how many people they may need to serve.
  • Support for Medicaid insurance for low-income populations and Medicare Part B insurance for people 65 and older.
  • Maternal and child health services, including the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
  • Funding for substance abuse prevention and treatment programs.
  • HIV emergency relief programs.
  • Health care programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives.

Emergency and disaster response, fire, and public safety services

  • Mapping out where to distribute supplies and where vulnerable members of the public live. Where there are more people, there are often greater needs.
  • Disaster preparedness, including evacuation planning.
  • Disaster recovery grant funding, such as after Hurricane Sandy.
  • Creating population maps for local public safety uses.
  • Funding for local firefighters. (For example, through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant.)
  • Funding for federal grants for local law enforcement and assistance for crime victims.
  • Funding for juvenile justice programs.
  • Funding for federal programs to prevent and manage wildfires on grasslands and in forests.

Schools, education programs, grants, and more

  • Where to build new schools or expand existing schools.
  • Federal funding for Pell Grants for college students.
  • Head Start programs for young children.
  • Training programs for public school teachers.
  • Funding for school lunches, after-school programs, and English as a Second Language instruction.
  • Determining the boundaries of local school districts.
  • Federal funding for local libraries. (For example, through the Library Services and Technology Act.)
  • Census responses help direct federal funds for Title 1, special education grants, and teacher training.
    • All of these programs are now more important than ever as they play a key role in helping schools provide students and teachers access to technology and training.
    • Schools use these federally funded education programs to increase access to high-quality digital content and resources for students, including providing devices for educators and students.

Roads, bridges, and other public transit and infrastructure projects

  • Where to build new roads, highways, and bridges.
  • Community block grants that support the construction and repair of roads and bridges in local communities.
  • Funding for highway maintenance and construction.
  • Funding for public transit systems—including buses, subways, commuter rail, and bicycle/pedestrian programs—in both urban and rural areas.

Businesses and economic development

  • Assistance for owners of small businesses through the Small Business Administration.
  • Rural business development grants.
  • Job training programs, including vocational rehabilitation and jobs services for people with disabilities.
  • Locating skilled workers.
  • Where to open new locations and offer services, build factories, and hire new employees.
  • To help identify the number and demographics of potential customers and determine what products and services to offer.
  • Determining which languages businesses need to support in their stores, advertising, and customer service.

Housing services and programs for special populations

  • Funding to modernize public housing.
  • Support for the rehabilitation and renovation of privately owned housing.
  • Housing financing for low-income elderly populations.
  • Assistance for renters in rural areas.
  • Heating and weatherization assistance for low-income individuals.

Family and social services

  • Funding for adoption assistance.
  • Funding to support programs for survivors of abuse.
  • Programs supporting the transition from homelessness.
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also known as food stamps).

Water and waste management

  • Funding for waste disposal and pollution control systems for states, cities, and rural and tribal communities.
  • Funding for water monitoring and control systems.

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