Dear friends and colleagues, 
Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Louisiana affected by rain and storm surge this last week. 
As we were all hunkering down for Hurricane Barry, you may have missed this news: the decision was made…the 2020 Census will not ask the controversial citizenship question. This is good news.*
Now it’s time for ALL of us to get the word out about participating in the 2020 Census:
It’s safe. It’s quick. It’s important.
Census research indicates that many people fail to participate in the once-every-ten-year head count.[i] But the results of the 2020 Census will determine how much federal funding communities will receive for roads, schools, health care, child care, housing, food assistance, and so much more. In fact, 2020 Census counts will drive more than $800 billion every year to states and localities for essential services.[ii] That means local officials, nonprofits, and civic leaders get a huge return on their investment when they support efforts to encourage Census participation.
The Census is also the basis for a myriad of business decisions.[iii] It drives decisions about where businesses open stores, where housing is built, etc. If your community isn’t fully counted, business investment in your neighborhood will likely be dampened.
Moreover, 2020 Census data will determine how many seats in Congress each state gets as well as the Electoral College[iv] and political representation at the state level. That means filling out the 2020 Census is just as important as voting.
We know from the research that trusted voices are a critical way to get people to participate in the Census count.[v] Non-federal partners such as nonprofits, churches, neighborhood groups, and even local establishments like barber shops are crucial allies in encouraging Census participation. The Census Bureau cannot do it alone, and your efforts to support 2020 Census participation are absolutely critical. Learn how to get started as a Census Bureau partner at
As Brookings Trustee Cheryl Cohen Effron suggests, the census is a federally mandated chance to build a strong foundation for equity, a start at making sure everyone counts by making sure we count everyone.[vi]

Bringing you the data you need to make informed decisions,
The Data Center Team
Robby Habans, Lamar Gardere, Rachel Weinstein, Arthur Rymer, Katrina Andry, Erica Amrine, Allison Plyer, Dabne Whitemore, Jenna Losh, and Don Asay
The Data Center could not make available critically important data without the support of data users like you.

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*Research from Harvard [vii] and the Census Bureau [vii] itself indicated that millions of people would have not responded to the Census had the citizenship question been included. The Data Center is neutral on all policies except data policies. We are in support of policies that produce high quality, freely and publicly available data. The Citizenship Question would have reduced the accuracy of the 2020 Census count. Moreover, the federal government already has high quality data [ix] on U.S. citizens, so this question was unnecessary on the 2020 Census.
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