2020 Census: Counting Everyone, Because
What is the Census and Why Is It Important?
The “Decennial” Census is so named because it is conducted every ten years, as required by the U.S. Constitution. The Census is administered by the U.S. Census Bureau. The purpose of the Census is to count everyone living in the U.S. and its territories.
The primary purpose of the Decennial Census is to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. The more people, the more seats. It’s estimated that Texas could gain three additional congressional seats based on the 2020 Census, more than any other state. Census data determines how boundaries are drawn for congressional as well as state legislative districts.
Census data informs businesses about where to locate, developers where to build homes, and local governments how to allocate critical resources. Census data also forms the basis of much federal funding to the states. For example, Texas receives about $60 billion annually through a number of federal programs based on the Census count. These programs include, just to name a few: medical assistance, nutritional assistance, housing assistance, college student loans and grants, K-12 public education, highway planning and construction, public transit, community facilities, crime victim assistance, public water and waste disposal systems, and substance abuse prevention.
AISD and the Census
AISD is actively participating in the Austin-Travis County Complete Count Committee (CCC). The CCC is striving to get all people in Travis County counted on the Census, but is particularly focusing on traditionally hard-to-count populations, which include infants and young children. AISD has also designated a Census coordinator, who is gathering information and providing it to campuses and the community, arranging to provide assistance to parents, and arranging for Census Bureau representatives to come to various committee meetings and district functions.
AISD’s Census coordinator also serves as chair of the American Planning Association Texas Chapter’s statewide Census Committee. The APATX website (https://texas.planning.org/community-outreach/2020-census/) includes a number of helpful resources related to the Census.
AISD Census Coordinator
Joey Crumley, AICP
How to Contact the U.S. Census Bureau
The Census Bureau website (https://2020census.gov/en) also includes many resources. The Partners and Educators tabs are particularly useful. The general information telephone number for the Census Bureau is 800-923-8282.