Every decade since 1790, the United States has attempted to count the country’s population. This nation-wide head-count plays an extraordinarily important role in shaping our communities for years to come.
Why the Census Matters
The next Census will take place in April 2020. There is a lot on the line, including funding for essential safety net programs and representation in Congress. Census data is used to:
- Draw Congressional districts (not to mention school districts!)
- Distribute billions of federal dollars to states
- Inform the decisions of government, businesses, and non-profits
An undercount could cost California more than $1.5 billion across all Federal programs. These are dollars that fund housing, education, healthcare, roads, and emergency services in Nevada County.
It is vital to the future of our community to ensure that every person in Nevada County is counted. Connecting Point and the County of Nevada are collaborating to “get out the count,” with the goal of achieving a complete count for Census 2020. That means counting every person living in Nevada County. There are significant barriers to meeting this goal:
- The 2020 Census will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. Internet access is limited in many areas of our county.
- S. Census Bureau outreach will not go to P.O. Boxes. Many residents may not receive information about the Census.
- There is widespread mistrust of the government and potential for misinformation about the Census in our community. People may choose not to participate, even though Census data is protected.
The State of California estimates that there are 48,370 “hard-to-count” individuals living in Nevada County (learn more about the Hard-to-Count Index here).
Connecting Point is currently reaching out to community organizations, faith-based groups, local agencies, businesses and others who work closely with demographic populations considered least likely to respond. These include:
- Immigrants and Refugees
- People with disabilities
- Children ages 0-5
- People with low/no broadband access
- Households with limited English proficiency
Achieving a complete count requires us to work together to find the best ways to reach our hard-to-count neighbors. If you serve any of the above “hard-to-count” populations, we want to hear from you. Please contact Heather Heckler by email or by phone at 530-274-5601 to let us know if you’d like to be involved.
The Census begins April 1st. LET’S MAKE NEVADA COUNTY COUNT!