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Census: Why It’s Important

The 2020 Census: Why It’s Important

You might think it’s just a count of U.S. residents. But the 2020 census is much more than that: The count and various estimates produced from it channel billions of dollars in federal funds to Texas, its local governments and its citizens.

In the latest issue of Fiscal Notes, the Comptroller’s office looks at the importance of the census and its impact on government programs and how they distribute their dollars, an estimated $44 billion for Texas in 2016 alone. An accurate count is vital: An undercount of just 1 percent could cost Texas hundreds of millions in funding for critical programs.

We also examine the topic of redistricting. Redistricting, triggered by the decennial census, redraws districts for congressional and legislative representatives and other officials to ensure equal representation for every U.S. voter. The census also affects reapportionment, which adds or subtracts seats in the U.S. House of Representatives to account for population changes.