Our Five Favorite 2020 Census Resources

In General

A complete and accurate count during the 2020 Census is vital for all communities; yet historically, some populations are undercounted.

The Community Foundation is providing funds, sharing resources, and linking people and organizations throughout the region to mobilize communities and build civic infrastructure for the 2020 Census and beyond.

Nonprofits are often the trusted messengers about the census for the communities they work in. When residents understand what the census is, how information is used, and how they can get counted, it translates into higher participation rates. The Community Foundation is providing resources for anyone to use. We are centralizing resources and Complete Count Committee activity on our site.

Here are a few of our favorites:

1. Counting Young Children in the 2020 Census

An estimated 5 percent of kids under the age of 5 weren’t counted in the
2010 Census. That’s about 1 million young children, the highest of any
age group. The US Census Bureau estimates that 40 percent of children live in “complex” households and attribute some of the undercount to this phenomenon. This resource helps to explain why young children are missed and what can be done
to help make sure they are counted.

2. 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study Survey Report (CBAMS)

The results from the nearly 17,500 survey respondents highlight variation in barriers, attitudes, and motivators related to census participation across demographic characteristics and served as a key input to the creative development of the 2020 Census communications campaign. Findings support the preceding 2020 Census focus groups in that information about the census and its impact, tangible evidence, and a connection to a better future would motivate people to respond. Messages about the
role of census data in providing for local services, like roads, safety services, hospitals, and schools were the most effective in these US Census Bureau studies.

3. Mapping Hard to Count (HTC) Communities for a Fair and Accurate 2020 Census

This interactive tool allows users to prioritize undercounted communities for their Get Out the Count campaign. It is searchable by address, ZIP Code, landmark, county, state, or legislative district. The tool can help users plan for how much of the tract may require more costly in-person follow up and how much of the tract is populated by groups that are at risk of being undercounted, such as children under five, households with poor internet access, recent immigrants, and more, based on the number of households that mailed back their census questionnaire in 2010.

4. Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census

The American Library Association has teamed with the Georgetown Center on Poverty
and Inequality (GCPI) to develop the Libraries’ Guide to the 2020 Census to support. It contains digestible information on basic census mechanics, timeline, and FAQs. Nationally, 24M+ Americans lack home internet access. Libraries across America will be
activated to help fill this gap. 99 percent of undercounted census tracts have a public library within five miles and 79 percent have a library within one mile.

5. Business Counts: How Business Can Contribute to an Accurate 2020 Census

An accurate census is critical to US businesses. “Businesses use census data to make economic and strategic decisions that determine the flow of almost $4 trillion in annual private investment,” according to House Representative Carolyn Maloney. Additionally, the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer found that 80 percent of US respondents trust their employers, even the disenfranchised, and respondents in the Black Census Project identified small business at the top of their list of trusted institutions, groups, or organizations. Thus, there is a significant opportunity for employer outreach to mobilize local business leaders. Local businesses, unions, business improvement districts, downtown development associations, and local chambers of commerce can be crucial trusted messengers.

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Learn more about the 2020 Census