The Census is critical. Not only does it affect political representation, it also directs billions of dollars in government funding to local programs and services. Funding for education, healthcare, and infrastructure such as roads is allocated utilizing census data. For every person missed during the Census, Placer County stands to lose $1,000 per person, per year—for 10 years—in federal funding.
”Why does the Census matter to me?
Importance to Placer
The data collected by the Census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is used to determine boundaries for many other districts here in Placer County including:
- 2 State Senator districts
- 4 State Assembly districts
- 5 County Supervisor districts
- 19 School districts
- 14 Water districts
- 29 Fire districts
There are four communities (or census tracts) in Placer County where the likelihood of non-response is much higher than the statewide median. These four areas account for nearly 13,000 people, with another 30,000 living in other communities that are also challenging to count. If 20% of all people living in these four communities go uncounted, Placer County will lose over $2,600,000 in federal aid annually for 10 years until the next census.
Programs whose level of funding depend on Census data include:
- Highway Planning and Construction
- Food assistance
- National school lunch program
- Housing vouchers
- Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program
- Foster care funding
- …and many, many more
Census data are used to make decisions around community needs: new schools, hospitals, roads, public safety, parks and housing development.
Business owners also use Census data to determine where to locate new stores and recruit employees.