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Census 2020 is Coming

Census 2020 is coming. The decennial census is critical: the data it collects will be used to make decisions in the following decade, on everything from fair and proportionate drawing of electoral districts, to how about $900 billion in federal funding is allocated. The census questionnaire, which will begin to be distributed in January, asks each household about age, sex, race, Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, how people are related, and if their homes are owned or rented.

The Census has struggled to tally certain minority populations accurately. The Census Bureau said it missed more than 1.5 million minorities in 2010 – particularly blacks, Hispanics, renters, and young men. An accurate count is particularly important in Georgia: it is the 8th most populous state, and is home to large black populations, quickly growing Latinx and Asian populations, and rural counties suffering from high rates of childhood poverty.

Nearly 25 percent of Georgia’s population registers as hard to count, and, though this is the first census that will give households the option to respond online, in addition phone and mail, almost 20 percent of its population lack reliable Internet access. The U.S. Supreme Court is also expected to decide whether the questionnaire can ask whether people are American citizens, potentially further deterring response from certain communities.

Because of these challenges and these stakes, several initiatives have been launched:

  • GALEO (Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials) and The Latino Community Fund has launched the Georgia Latino Complete Count Committee (GLCCC), a diverse coalition committed to a full count of every person of Hispanic or Latin American descent in Georgia. All organizations, businesses, and individuals working with the Hispanic/Latinx community in Georgia are encouraged to join the committee and support its activities. A website in Spanish is now available for the community: www.YoCuentoEnGeorgia.comCenter for Pan Asian Community Services and Latin American Association is also committed to supporting community and ethnic-based organizations in ensuring a fair and accurate Census 2020. 

  • Fair Count, launched by Stacey Abrams, is dedicated to ensuring that all of Georgia counts its population accurately – with a particular focus on minorities, non-English speakers, renters and others who are more likely to be skipped in the census.

  • ATL Counts is a year-long effort that will educate and mobilize Atlanta residents for the upcoming 2020 Census, to make sure every person in the City of Atlanta is counted accurately. Atlanta has already identified 14,805 additional addresses and corrected or updated 64,421 others since the last census, meaning the city could gain $100 million in additional federal funding.

  • Census Counts is a collaborative campaign involving more than 15 national organizations and dozens of community partners in more than 30 states working together to make sure that the 2020 Census is fair and accurate. Say #CountMeIn by signing the @CensusCounts, and pledge to advocate for a fair and accurate count on the Census Counts website.