NEWS17 April 2023

Calls to increase funding for US census

News North America Public Sector

US – The Census Project, a group of industry bodies and businesses, has urged Congress to increase its funding for the US Census Bureau to $2bn in the 2024 fiscal year, while senators and members of Congress have also called for more funding.

US census questionnaire

Increased funding would be used to support preparations for the next US census in 2030 and ‘secure and maintain the nation’s critical data infrastructure’, according to The Census Project.

The $2bn in funding requested would be an increase of $394m from the president’s request and $521m from the 2023 fiscal year.

Mary Jo Hoeksema, co-director of the Census Project, said: “The US Census Bureau provides data essential to our nation and democracy. Adequate funding for the agency will ensure the United States is prepared for the 2030 Census planning cycle, which is already well underway.”

Howard Fienberg, co-director of the Census Project, added: “Additional funding will also support the annual American Community Survey (ACS), ensuring that decisionmakers in the private and public sector continue to receive the most accurate local, state, and federal data.”

In addition to the request from The Census Project, a group of 23 senators and a bipartisan group of 45 US representatives have asked the House Commerce, Justice, and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee to prioritise higher funding for the Census Bureau.

The letter from the bipartisan group, led by member of Congress Judy Chu, stated that “funding shortfalls” had forced the agency to cut back on its field tests – “a decision that may have contributed to the less accurate counts of racial and ethnic populations, rural areas, and young children resulting from the 2020 Census”.