St. David's Stories

Why the Census Counts

Why are we passionate about the Census? Every 10 years, the federal government conducts a constitutionally mandated count of every resident.  Census data determines the distribution of billions in federal funds that help keep people healthy, and next April, the 2020 Census will kick off across America.

We care about an accurate Census count because Texas deserves its fair share of federal funds and we are at great risk of an undercount. Historically, the Census has missed disproportionate numbers of immigrants, populations of color, young children, and low-income residents. The Census affects 55 federal programs that provide Central Texas residents with healthcare, food, education, transportation, and housing. Being undercounted by even 1% in 2020 could result in a significant loss in federal funding for Texas—at least $300 million a year for the next 10 years. Analysts estimate that a 1% undercount in Central Texas could translate to a loss of $25 million a year for the next 10 years.

To increase the accuracy of the 2020 Census, St. David’s Foundation has committed to investing in grassroots Get Out the Count efforts in “hard-to-count” communities across Central Texas. In collaboration with our friends at Austin Community Foundation, we spearheaded a pooled fund for foundations to support Census outreach across Central Texas. To date, five foundations have contributed to the Central Texas fund, and momentum continues to build for philanthropic investment to achieve a full and accurate Census across the state. Our partners at United Way for Greater Austin will serve as the Central Texas “resource hub” for non-profits and other entities who need funding to coordinate and conduct grassroots outreach leading up to Census Day, April 1, 2020. 

Want to learn more about funding opportunities to support Census efforts in Central Texas?

If you know of organizations seeking funding for Census-related activities in Central Texas, United Way is accepting applications until Monday, November 11. 

For more information about the importance of the Census, visit:

Get Out the Count!


This story was published as part of the October issue of St. David’s Foundation’s 411 newsletter. Click below to read the other stories in this issue.

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