October 1, 2018 Arab American

2020 Census: Reaching an Accurate Count

The decennial census is a constitutionally mandated process,1 and each administration has a
responsibility to make sure that the U.S. Census Bureau can conduct an accurate count of all persons residing in the United States. Decennial census data is used in apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, and redistricting state legislatures and school district assignment areas.

Additionally, data from the decennial census determines how the government spends over $600 billion a year in federal and state funding that goes to programs supporting public health, transportation, education, and community development in communities across the United States.

A fair and accurate count on the decennial census is imperative to the functioning of our
democracy. Without an accurate count, we will not have accurate representation, and important social services and programs may not reach the communities that need them most. Several recent policies and decisions from the Trump Administration have raised concerns about the ability of the Census Bureau to conduct an accurate count.

From the inclusion of a new citizenship question, to the exclusion of a “Middle Eastern or North African” category and combined question format, consistent underfunding, and a leadership vacuum, the accuracy of the 2020 Census is being threatened.