• Save the date for SSTI's 2024 Annual Conference

    Join us December 10-12 in Arizona to connect with and learn from your peers working around the country to strengthen their regional innovation economies. Visit ssticonference.org for more information and sign up to receive updates.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

US Census participation vital, but lagging

April 02, 2020

With congressional apportionment along with federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities on the line, the U.S. Census count is vital to every community. But the 2020 decennial count has hit another roadblock with lagging participation and a delay in outreach efforts. Due to national social distancing guidelines and some states’ stay-at-home orders prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, “Census Day,” originally scheduled for April 1, was recently postponed until at least April 15. The U.S. Census Bureau uses the day to kick-off in-person counting and outreach efforts, a huge component of the 2020 count.

Indicated by an interactive map on the United States Census 2020 site, the current national self-response rate (households who have responded by mail, phone, or online) is 36.2 percent. Systemic participation is critical, as the results determine the number of seats each state has in the House of Representatives as well as to draw congressional and state legislative districts for the next decade. Additionally, the results will inform how more than $1.5 trillion in federal funding will be allocated to communities across the country for critical programs and services as well as providing fundamental data to businesses on the communities they serve, including population trends and growth projections.

Further, according to an article from Pew, the results have a profound impact on state budgets as they play a large role in creating the datasets and statistical indicators such as income measures, poverty thresholds, and the consumer price index used by many federal grant programs that employ statutory formulas to distribute funding.

While more than half the population finds themselves working from home due to social distancing protocols, finding time for a 10-minute survey that will help determine the course of the next decade should be an easy ask. Responses can be completed online, by phone, or mail. Find out more information about the U.S. 2020 Census and respond here.