Why is the Census important?
Representation: The official census results are used to determine how many seats Ohio receives in the U.S. House of Representatives. Ohio will also use the 2020 Census results to draw the boundaries for House of Representatives and local legislative districts. If Franklin County is undercounted, Ohio could receive fewer seats in the House of Representatives as a result. It is important for you to encourage your family and friends to complete the 2020 Census so your voice can be heard in Washington, D.C. and in the Ohio General Assembly.
Federal Funding: The federal government uses census data to make funding decisions for federal programs that families rely on in Franklin County and Columbus. For example, if a Columbus non-profit applies for a grant from the federal government it is required to use the latest census data. When households and families are not counted in the census, they could risk losing critical federal funding and support.
Every individual resident in Franklin County is unique and relies on different federal, state, and local programs which use census data. Some people may not even realize that they are benefitting from programs funded by the federal government that use census data.
Here is a list of key programs that Columbus and Franklin County residents rely on which use U.S. Census data:
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or “food stamps”
• Medicare Part B
• Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
• Special Education Grants
• National School Lunch Program
• Head Start/Early Head Start
• Foster Care
• State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP)
• Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
• Health Center Programs (Community, Migrant, Homeless, Public Housing)
**Did you know? According to a George Washington University study, in fiscal year 2015 Ohio received over $21 billion for the above 16 largest federal assistance programs. That means in 2015 $1,814 was spent per person in Ohio based on data derived from the 2010 U.S. Census.
Neighborhood Development: U.S. Census data are used in decision making at all levels of government. City and county planners use census data to plan for hospitals, nursing homes, and other clinics. The City of Columbus, Franklin County, and State of Ohio agencies rely on census data to build news roads and repair our infrastructure. Columbus City Schools and other regional public school districts even use census information to draw school district boundaries.
Economic Growth: Employers of all sizes need accurate U.S. Census data to plan for future job growth and make key business decisions. For example, large employers in Franklin County use census data to understand the local labor supply and consumer needs and preferences. Click here to learn 50 Ways Census Data are used in your community!