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2/11/2020 - Your Community Needs You Participate 2020 Census

About the Census


The U.S. Constitution mandates a decennial census to count every person residing in the country. The census is designed and executed by the U.S. Census Bureau, an agency within the Department of Commerce. Census data is used to distribute federal funding, draw legislative districts, and influence future development. The next census will begin in April 2020 and it is essential that Riviera Beach gets a complete and accurate count.
Census data is used by governments, businesses, and the nonprofit community to guide investment decisions. The census is used to fund federal programs, including for roads and bridges, public schools, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food Stamps), the National School Lunch Program, Section 8 Housing, Head Start, and the Community Development Block Grants.

Your Participation in the 2020 Census Matters


Census data helps determine the allocation of government resources and ensure fair political representation for Floridians and all Americans. The 2020 Census is facing unprecedented challenges, and although philanthropy cannot and should not supplant the government’s responsibility to ensure a fair and accurate census, funder engagement in support of the census is more important than ever. 

Since the bureau is facing budget constraints like never before, it is planning to collect the majority of census information online, scale back door-to-door outreach and roll back canvassing. These changes increase the potential of undercounting young children, minorities, low-income individuals and other marginalized individuals.


More than $600 billion annually in federal assistance to states, localities, and families is distributed based on census data, yet historically, the census has missed disproportionate numbers of people of color, young children and the rural and urban poor, leading to inequality in political power and in access to public funding and private investment for these communities. Going into 2020, additional communities, including immigrants and refugees, unmarried women and the LGBTQ community are at risk of being missed.

If you think underfunding the Census won't affect your community, consider that $29 billion in federal funds is distributed to our state based on census data. Furthermore, in 50 counties, we have at least one hard-to-count community with low mail response rates in the 2010 census. Being hard-to-count can lead to unequal political representation and unequal access to vital public and private resources for these groups and their communities. Our state has so much at stake, and we need to ensure a fair and accurate census.