Trump Administration is short-changing 2020 Census and that could hurt Washington state

December 7, 2017

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Gov. Jay Inslee today sent a letter to leaders of cities, counties and other jurisdictions sounding the alarm about anticipated cuts to the 2020 Census program and urging them to help prepare for a beefed-up state effort.

A census under-count would create a misleading picture of population growth, put comprehensive planning efforts off track, and could impact Congressional representation. All indications are that the federal government’s 2020 Census efforts will not be as vigorous as previous counts, including reduced funding for outreach and community engagement efforts. This makes state level engagement even more crucial.

Census quick facts:

  • Census data guides $13.7 billion in federal funds to Washington state every year, which helps support housing, health care, Head Start and foster care.
  • On average, each household missed means approximately $4,800 less in annual per capita funding allotments to the state. 
  • The 2020 Census is also the base for state population estimates that determine the allocation of about $200 million to counties and cities from the state general fund annually. 

Inslee is urging local jurisdictions to register for the Census Bureau's Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) program which helps ensure the Census has access to the most up-to-date list of addresses in cities and counties. If jurisdictions don't register, there is an increased risk the Census Bureau will have an incomplete list of households and the census would not ultimately reflect the true number of residents in the state.

Crosscut recently posted an op-ed by King County Assessor John Arthur Wilson about the 2020 Census preparations and potential impact on Washington state.

Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office
360.902.4136