In May, researchers estimated that $880 billion dollars in federal funding was at stake if there was an undercounting in the 2020 Census. After digging in even deeper, a new total has surfaced, emphasizing the importance of achieving a complete and accurate count. According to researchers, there is now $1.5 trillion at stake.
Researchers arrived at this new number using updated data from the 2017 fiscal year (updated from 2016), and by taking into consideration all of the 316 federal programs which rely on census-derived data. Medicare accounted for more than $710 billion and more than a quarter of the funding went to Medicaid, as well as six other social services programs.
Not only will the Census affect the amount of federal money that is distributed to local and state governments, but it will also affect how many congressional seats individual states receive.
Beth Lynk, an official at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, stated “The 2020 Census is going to be one of the most consequential censuses of our lifetime...Every community and every state has a critical choice to make: Go all in on ensuring a fair and accurate census, or miss out on a pot of more than $1.5 trillion a year in federal funding."