Dec 08 2019

The Importance of the 2020 Census


One of the most important events taking place in 2020 is something many of us might not think too much about.

With more than $675 billion in federal funds per year spent on schools, roads, hospitals, public works and numerous other essential programs, it's important for all communities to ensure they provide an accurate count of their people for not only funding purposes, but also to accurately divide political representation.

The time to fill out the 2020 Census is just around the corner, with invitations to fill out the census set to be mailed in spring 2020. The census impacts daily life in our country in many different ways. It can be used to determine funding for Medicaid, highway planning and construction, unemployment insurance, business and industry loans and numerous programs that impact our city and state. It is also used by our local government to plan for new services in our city, such as schools and hospitals.

One of the primary sources to fund local roads and bridges comes directly from population numbers from the census. The results will then shape spending decisions for the next decade, coinciding with the current need for improvements of roads and bridges throughout Lincoln and Lancaster County. Those projects directly impact businesses, our schools and ultimately, our quality of life.

The Counting for Dollars 2020 Project is one entity that is looking to accurately measure how much the federal government will use census findings to shape the distribution of funding to states and localities across the country. For the fiscal year 2016 alone, The Counting for Dollars 2020 Project found that Nebraska received just under $4 billion through data collected in the 2010 Census.

It is very important to fill out the census and make the participation levels as high as possible.

The 2020 Census will also be the first to be widely available online, which will hopefully increase the ability to gain an accurate count and increase participation with its ease of use.

If an accurate count is not obtained and an area is undercounted, it can mean the loss of millions of dollars for programs and projects important to communities and their residents. Our businesses also use the data collected to determine where to expand businesses with additional jobs, new residential neighborhoods and add stores, offices or plants to further their contribution to local economies.

The local 2020 Census Complete Count Committee continues to work on effective ways to increase census participation and ensure everyone is counted.

The Lincoln Chamber encourages everyone to take the minimal time required to answer the questions on the 2020 Census when it arrives in the coming months.

For more details, visit

For details on the Counting for Dollars Project, visit