The U.S. Census provides the baseline data for much of our work at the Colorado Health Institute. It also drives federal funding for the state.
In a column for The Denver Post, CHI’s Emily Johnson and Jeff Bontrager write about the risk of an undercount in the 2020 Census and why Coloradans should care.
That question is on our minds as the 2020 U.S. Census approaches. As researchers at the Colorado Health Institute, we believe in the power of analysis and evidence to improve policymaking and make Coloradans healthier. The numbers and information about Colorado’s population that come from the U.S. Census underlie most of our work.
We’re not alone. Congress, state legislators, county commissioners, businesses, philanthropies, and yes, health policy research institutes use the Census to make decisions every day.
If even a small proportion of people aren’t counted, Colorado risks losing tens of millions of dollars in federal funding that is based on Census data.
It’s not easy to count more than 320 million Americans, and we know from the Census Bureau’s own analysis that it has undercounted people in the past. We are concerned that this undercount will be even worse in 2020.