Making sense of the census: How census data could impact funding for community | KOB 4

Making sense of the census: How census data could impact funding for community

Joy Wang
Created: December 28, 2019 10:37 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.–The U.S. Census Bureau will begin collecting data for the 2020 census starting April and how people answer the census questions could mean the difference of more funding in the community.

“Communities like Albuquerque benefit from an accurate census count because a lot of those programs are programs that are utilized within the Albuquerque community and so for example, your school lunch program. If you don't have an accurate count of the children in your neighborhood and your community, then that funding might be cut and so as a result children might not have access to school lunch in their school,” said Brandale Mills, census media specialist.

The same concept works for other neighborhoods throughout the state and country.

“State funding, we've seen historically that New Mexico has missed out on thousands and thousands of dollars because of the inaccurate count that has happened over the course of several years and so we're really trying to mobilize the community to make sure that does not happen now because we deserve the funding,” Mills said. “We deserve community development and the small things like highway infrastructure, school playgrounds and those federal programs really are things that we can benefit from.”

Mills said more than 130 programs rely on federal funds that are allocated based solely on census data. If county or city officials see there’re more children in a particular neighborhood then they might want to invest in more infrastructure like a new playground or park.

“Some of those programs include head start medical assistance, food assistance, Pell Grants for college students, so all of those federal programs are impacted by census data and the amount of people that are in those areas other programs like Medicare are also impacted by census data,” Mills said.

People will be able to fill out census forms online for the first time starting next year.

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