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Census 2020: The importance of the Census

The Census 2020 Guide brings together resources about why the Census is important, key information about the Census, and where to find additional information.

Census 2020: Census Bureau's website

For official information about the 2020 Census, see the Census Bureau's website.

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2020 Response Rates Map

Census data impacts your voice in government

The Census determines representation in the House of Representatives. 

  • Census data is used to determine how many seats your state gets in the House of Representatives.
  • Census data is used for redrawing the boundaries of federal and state legislative districts.
  • Census data impacts a state's number of electors in the Electoral College.

The Census determines the number of electors from each state in the Electoral College.

The number of electors apportioned to each state is the same as the number of members in the Senate and House of Representatives.  Therefore, if a state loses seats in the House of Representatives due to undercounting or population loss, it will lose the same number of electors in the Electoral College.

United States Census 2020, Importance of the Data.
National Archives, What is the Electoral College?

The Census determines distribution of federal funds

The Census data will inform agencies how funding is allocated to over 100 federal programs, including:

  • Medicaid
  • Head Start
  • Community mental health services
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
  • School lunches
  • Highway construction
  • Education
  • Hospitals

United States Census 2020, Importance of the Data.

The Census informs decisions about business, building, infrastructure, and public safety

The government and businesses use Census data to determine where to:

  • Build roads
  • Build schools
  • Build clinics, hospitals
  • Open new stores, factories, offices, restaurants
  • Recruit new employees

United States Census 2020, Importance of the Data.