July 31, 2018 Race and Ethnicity

Census Health Care Factsheet

The U.S. Constitution requires an accurate count of the nation’s population every 10 years through a nationwide census. In addition, the Census Bureau collects more detailed socio-economic data on U.S. households each year through the American Community Survey (ACS), which, by law, is part of the decennial census. Together, the census and the ACS produce some of the nation’s best data for understanding the health of people living in the United States.

The 2020 Census and the ACS are currently facing fiscal, operational, and policy threats that could jeopardize a fair and accurate count, which would weaken data used to support our health care system. The health sector should engage now in efforts to protect these crucial data collection activities.

Health care providers, health insurance companies, government agencies, and beneficiaries need accurate information to make decisions regarding the products and services they provide and utilize. An inaccurate measure of the U.S. population and its characteristics could deprive the health care sector of vital resources needed to ensure it is meeting each community’s needs.