The decennial census will take place on April 1, 2020. The census requires counting an increasingly diverse and growing population of around 330 million people in more than 140 million housing units in the United States.
The U.S. census counts every resident in the United States. Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that this occur every 10 years. See how the U.S. Census works.
The data collected by the census is important information for decision making.
Distribution of Federal Funds: The distribution of billions of dollars in federal funds and well as the allocation of state and local funds are based on formulas that depend on population counts and socioeconomic measures (e.g. poverty and income) per Marylander over the course of the decade. A good count assures Marylanders of their fair share of funding for important and life-saving programs.
Government and Community Programs and Services: The decennial census provides key data to support decisions on where investments need to be made for transportation, schools, healthcare, job training, housing, daycare and public safety, among others.
Business Investment Decisions: Businesses rely on decennial census data to supply the detailed descriptions of communities and places needed to make site location, marketing, service delivery and advertising decisions. Census data helps business owners know what Marylanders want and need in the way of goods and services within their communities.
Reapportionment and Redistricting: Census results are the foundation for Maryland’s political representation and the redrawing of political districts (congressional, state legislative and councilmanic) based on equal numbers of persons per district. The quality (completeness and accuracy) of census data directly impacts this fundamental foundation of our democracy.
The purpose of the census is to count every living person where they are on April 1, 2020. Every person not counted equates to $1,821* in lost federal funding every year ($18,210 over ten years), until the next decennial census occurs in 2030.
*Source: George Washington University: Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds
How Does Maryland Fit Into the Census?
The Maryland Department of Planning (Planning) is designated as the State Data Center for Maryland by the U.S. Census Bureau under its State Data Center program. The State Data Center (SDC) program is one of the bureau's longest and most successful partnerships, which was created to make census data more accessible to Marylanders.
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