NEWS16 May 2018

US business groups gather in support of census

News North America Public Sector

US – Business groups have come together to support funding for the 2020 census, asking the Houses of Congress to ensure robust funding to support an accurate census.

US 2010 census_crop

Twenty-eight organisations representing businesses, including the Insights Association, the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and the National Association of Business Economics, signed a letter to the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to allocate full Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 funding for the Census Bureau as it prepares for the forthcoming decennial census.

Congress provided a boost to census funding for 2018, but according to the letter, further funding is needed to ensure the census is accurate.

It recommended that the committee allocates at least $4.26bn for the Census Bureau in FY 2019 but said $4.735bn would be "ideal". According to the letter, the original White House FY 2019 funding request for the Census Bureau was $3.8bn.

The House Commerce, Justice and Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittee passed an appropriations bill approving $4.8bn for the Bureau on 9 May, which now needs to be approved in both Houses.

The letter, organised by the Insights Association, said that failure to provide robust funding for the census would lead to inaccurate results that have "significant, long-lasting impact" on businesses using official data. An inaccurate census, it added, would also have a negative impact on the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Economic Census, which provide demographic and population data to American businesses.

Howard Fienberg, vice-president of advocacy at the Insights Association, said: "The census doesn’t just underpin American democracy, it is vital to the American economy. This data helps US businesses promote economic development, identify potential customers and create jobs."