Millions of Reasons Why Utah Needs a Complete Count in the 2020 Census

03 May 2019 Published in News & Updates

Why is the Census important to my organization?

An undercount in the 2020 Census will directly and indirectly impact Utah’s nonprofit community. In 2016, Utah received $5.6 billion from the Federal Government to fund social services, health care, education and infrastructure due to Census data alone. This amounts to $1,870 per Utahn. These Federal dollars go directly to nonprofit organizations or to government agencies that provide these services. Less Federal funding to government agencies means that the demand for these services will fall to the nonprofit community. 

An undercount of 1,000 people will cost Utah $18.7 million per year. This is money that would otherwise support roads, education, housing, transportation, health services and other aspects that our integral to our day-to-day lives.  An undercount could also dilute our representation in Congress.

Utah’s nonprofits can help with a complete count of Utah in the 2020 Census. Here’s some ideas on how you can help and some reasons why your organization might be uniquely positioned to protect Utah from an under count.

What Can I Do?

  • Identify the Hard-to-Survey (Potentially Under Counted)  Areas in and Near Your Community
  • Convene and educate community leaders and other stakeholders, including the media, about the Census.
  • Identify and partner with organizations and community stakeholders that are already connected to hard-to-count communities and have built strong relationships-of-trust.
  • Advocate for funding that supports census outreach efforts on the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Work with state, county, tribal, and local government leaders to create and engage in Complete Count Committees (volunteer committees of government and community leaders from different sectors established to increase awareness about the census and promote participation).
  • Connect to national hubs (e.g., Census Project) that are providing resources to learn more about and engage in census advocacy.

Why are Nonprofits the best suited to encourage people to take the 2020 Census?

  • The Census Bureau has historically struggled with reaching hard-to-count (HTC) communities-of-color, immigrants, religious minorities, young children, and those in poverty.
  • Nonprofit organizations are often in communities most at risk of being under counted (urban and rural).
  • Nonprofits have built and maintain relationships-of-trust with the communities they serve.
  • Ability to navigate cultural sensitivities and language needs.
  • Nonprofits driven by social missions strive to ensure their communities have access to the funds, services, representations, and physical and social infrastructure affected by the Census count.
  • Nonprofits are keenly aware of the negative impact an undercount will have on their communities, and that they will need to find ways to make up for the shortfalls.

How is the Census Bureau planning to get everyone to respond?

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, and by phone.

When is the Census?

  • March 12-20th, 2020: Postcards sent out inviting all to take the online survey
  • March 16-24th, 2020: Reminder letters sent out
  • April 1st, 2020: Census Responses are due
  • April-July, 2020: Paper surveys, final reminders, and in-person enumerators sent out

Tools for Making a Difference
Guide on how nonprofits can be involved
Utah Nonprofits Association CEO on the Census
Why the Census is Important to Utah Video
Census Bureau community outreach toolkit
The Census Project Toolkit
Census Counts Organization