Economy

2020 Census to Cost $7.6 Billion

As the U.S. government begins it once per decade count of the nation’s population, there was worry that the process would be underfunded, which means it would be less likely the count would be accurate. That might affect the location of congressional districts and what states get for education, benefits and other essentials for local populations. The news about the sum that the Census Bureau will have took a turn for the better. The bureau’s annual budget of $7.6 billion was approved. Of this, $6.7 billion will go directly to the 2020 process.

The U.S. census for 2020 starts on April 1. Almost every household will be able to participate by mail, phone or in-person interview. The bureau wrote recently, “Nearly every household will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census from either a postal worker or a census worker.” The first mailings will go out the week of March 12. Final reminders will mail the week of April 20. Any household that does not respond will be visited in person.

Several notable things will be affected by the results. The total number of Americans is expected to reach about 330 million people. Among the largest changes are where the population lives and what that means. According to the Population Reference Bureau, “As the U.S. population continues to shift to the South and West, states in those regions will likely gain congressional seats at the expense of states in the Northeast and Midwest, changing the political landscape.”

The 65-year-old and above population is expected to be growing at the fastest pace in history. That will affect the money needs for social programs for older Americans. The population also will continue to shift away from a white majority.

An underfunded census could have distorted the picture of America for the next 10 years. Fortunately, that did not happen.