Participate in the 2020 Census to Increase Federal Funding for Low-income Communities

Lance Loethen

Did you know that 305 federal financial assistance programs relied on U.S. Census data to allocate $1.5 trillion in funding nationwide during FY 2017? This includes $1.2 trillion for Health and Human Services, $116 billion for the Department of Agriculture (USDA), $70 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), $39 billion for the Department of Education, and $30 billion for the Small Business Administration (SBA). See the table below for a full program list. 

Nearly all federal assistance programs directly benefit the low-income communities targeted by community development financial institutions (CDFIs), and several programs result in direct support for CDFI lending activity (e.g. USDA, SBA, HUD). Transportation infrastructure funding allocations are also calculated using Census data.

OFN is asking that you—our members, allies, and CDFI stakeholders—promote participation in the 2020 Census among your clients, communities, and larger constituency.

Every additional resident counted in a low-income community directly results in increased federal assistance across a range of programs designed to reduce poverty and increase access to important services. 

In addition to funding allocations, state and federal political boundaries are drawn using Census data. Increased participation in the 2020 Census leads to more political representation, and potentially, improved public policy in support of low-income people and places.

In mid-March, households will begin receiving official Census Bureau mail with detailed information on how to respond to the 2020 Census online, by phone, or by mail. Please use your communication networks to encourage full participation in the 2020 U.S. Census. 

The Census only happens every 10 years—it’s too important to miss!

Census Fed funds