WHAT’S AT STAKE?
When a community is undercounted by the Census, it results in political inequality and less funding for those communities. Historically undercounted communities often experience barriers to accessing other resources.
Historically, the census has undercounted people of color, young children and those living in poverty – leading to inequality in political power, government funding and private-sector investment for these communities.
The census count has consequences we will live with for at least the next decade.
Wisconsin stands to lose roughly $1,600 per person per year in federal support for programs that use census data, such as:
What is the Census?
The Census is a Constitutionally mandated once-a-decade count of every person living in the United States. It helps us understand how well we are doing to eliminate inequalities and disproportionate outcomes that impact vulnerable populations.
Who are We?
“Wisconsin Counts” is an ambitious effort to make sure every single person in Wisconsin is counted in the 2020 Census. We mobilize nonprofits and partner with state and local governments to encourage participation in the census in communities that are at significant risk of being undercounted.
WHAT IS THE CENSUS?
The Census is a Constitutionally mandated once-a-decade count of every person living in the United States.
- It helps us understand how well we are doing to eliminate inequalities and disproportionate outcomes that impact vulnerable populations
- Census data determines how almost $675 billion in federal programs are allocated to states, localities, and families every year
- Tells state and local officials, community leaders how to invest in current and future needs for health care, education, housing, food and income security, rural access to broadband, and other services
- Guide private-sector investments in new jobs, new facilities, and marketing
- The population count is used to determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and how many electoral votes each state will have for the following decade
How do I fill out the 2020 Census?
Starting in March 2020, most households will get a letter in the mail with information about how to take the survey online. If households haven’t completed the Census by summer, the US Census Bureau will send someone to your house to help you fill it out. Sign the pledge to be counted today and get up-to-date information to make sure you don’t miss out!
Who is considered “hard to count”?
“Hard to count” groups that face systemic under-counts:
- People of color
- Low-income households, urban & rural
- Young children (ages 0−4), esp. Black & Latino kids
- Limited English Proficient and foreign-born households
- Single, female-headed households
- Young adult mobiles
Why does it matter if some groups are undercounted?
Not only are some groups undercounted, Non-Hispanic White, higher income households are typically over-counted.
Skewed census data impacts representation in government and allocation of resources for the next 10 years. If your community is under-counted, you won’t have the representation in government you’re Constitutionally entitled to and you will lose out on resources that could go to improving your community.
Why does the Census Bureau ask the questions they do?
The Census Bureau asks the questions they do on the surveys because of federal needs and for community benefits. The information the Census Bureau collects helps to determine how more than $400 billion dollars of federal funding annually is spent on infrastructure and services. Your answers help federal, state and local leaders make decisions about schools, hospitals, emergency services, roads, bridges, job training centers, and many other projects that affect your community.
Are my answers safe and secure?
The Census Bureau collects data for statistical purposes only. They combine your responses with information from other households or businesses to produce statistics, which never identify your household, any person in your household, or business. Your information is CONFIDENTIAL. They never identify you individually.
Title 13 of the U.S. Code protects the confidentiality of all your information and violating this law is a crime with severe penalties. In addition, other federal laws, including the Confidential Statistical Efficiency Act and the Privacy Act reinforce these protections. The penalty for unlawful disclosure is a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment of up to 5 years, or both.
It is against the law to disclose or publish any of the following information:
- Addresses including GPS coordinates
- Social Security numbers
- Telephone numbers