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Children & the Census



Why Engage in the census?

The Decennial Census must reflect an accurate count of every person in the United States. Census data is used to geographically direct more than $2.1 trillion in federal funds to state agencies, local governments, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, companies, and households, resulting in serious consequences if the data is inaccurate. The consequences of a loss in funding can include overcrowded classrooms, underfunded services, lack of food for families, and inadequate health care. These consequences are even greater for families that earn lower incomes.

States use census data to redraw federal, state, local, and school voting districts.
States, localities, and businesses use census data to plan where to build new schools and stores (including grocery stores). 

Policymakers, researchers, policy analysts, and others use data from the Decennial Census and other surveys to highlight the well-being of communities.

The federal government uses census data to calculate representation in Congress, state legislatures, and school boards.

When we miss young children in the census it has serious consequences for the child, their families, their communities, and our nation – with many of those consequences lasting for at least 10 years (for most of their childhood).

Some of the programs that use census data
to distribute funding that serve children include:

Health insurance programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance program.
Education programs like Title I funding to schools in low-income.
IDEA special education funding for children with disabilities.
Programs that keep children safe, like foster care.
Programs that help children learn through funding for quality child care.
Nutrition programs, like WIC, that support the well-being of children.

What's the

The number of young children that are not represented in the Decennial Census has been increasing steadily for 40 years.

Get Prepared For the next census

By acting together, we can help ensure children are accurately represented in the future Decennial Census.