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The 2020 Census: What’s At Stake for the African American Community

Lansing, Mich. — Every community across the nation will be impacted by the 2020 Census count. Observers say the census count has consequences that will impact the next decade, if not longer. This makes the stakes even higher.  Michigan stands to lose an estimated $1,800 per person per year in federal support for programs that use census data. These include Medicaid, nutrition assistance, highway construction and planning, Title I and Special Education Grants, Foster Care and Child Care Grants, K-12 education, Section 8 Vouchers, and Head Start/Early Start — for which Michigan received more than $14 billion in 2015.

Consequences of Undercounting the African American Community

An undercount of African American communities will result in African Americans being denied a full voice in policy decision-making because political boundaries and congressional reappointments most likely will not be based on real numbers. As a result, the African American community stands to lose important representation guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In addition, federal agencies rely on census data to monitor discrimination and implement civil rights laws that protect voting rights, equal employment opportunity, and more. This is particularly important for African American communities, which have faced discrimination and have been historically disenfranchised from the voting process.

Undercounting the African American community in the 2020 Census could also impact how federal funding is allocated to states and localities. Many programs that provide financial security for low-income families and economic development for their communities are funded based, primarily, on census-driven data.

Every household will have the option of responding online, by mail, or by phone. Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker.

Visit 2020census.gov to learn more about the 2020 Census – how to respond, and why it matters.

 

 

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