Decennial Census Support Page

The Council for Community and Economic Research

How do C2ER members use Census data?

Case study with OnTheMap

Delays in traffic flows due to 18 class-one railroad crossings were estimated to cost Claremore, OK $56 million in lost production of goods and services annually. Traffic flows were calculated using the Census Bureau's OnTheMap and used with IMPLAN to make the estimate of $56 million in lost gross product for Claremore. The analysis has been a large part of efforts to gain support from legislators, grant-funding entities, and both the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads whose trains and rail lines are the issue, to target funds toward relieving the traffic-crossing congestion.

Ongoing use of American Community Survey for benchmarking

The Tulsa Regional Chamber relies on annual estimates of education attainment, labor force participation rate, and inmigration from the American Community Survey one-year estimates to mark its progress in meeting annual goals to justify the funding of three five-year plans in economic development. A fourth five-year plan is been prepared now.

Assessment of Inflow-outflow of workers in low-income zip codes

Inflow-outflow of workers in contiguous low-income zip codes with OnTheMap justified a large stakeholder's decision to invest in the area. Development as a result of the investment has resulted in localized employment in new manufacturing and distribution, and local training opportunities that instill the motivation to stay on the job and in the area.

Identifying rural counties in need

The South Carolina Department of Commerce Research Division frequently uses Census data to inform and/or substantiate our analysis of the economic well-being of communities in South Carolina, particularly within smaller geographic subdivisions. As an example, a recent project used a decade's worth of the Census Bureau's population and poverty statistics to identify rural counties in need. Without this data, we would have to rely on less accurate and less granular sources that would harm the credibility and effectiveness of our work.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Decennial Census and when is the data collected?

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census to determine the number of people living in the United States. The data collected by the decennial census are used to determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.

When is Census Day?

April 1 of the year of the Census - so it is critical to raise awareness now and through Spring of 2020.

Why should I care?

It will provide an accurate snapshot to ensure communities across our state receive the funding, services and business support they deserve and need. Without accurate data, billions of federal dollars could be misallocated.

You can learn more about the role of the Decennial Census in federal spending in this research from the George Washington Institute of Public Policy.

Do you have to participate in the census?

You are required by federal law to participate; the Census Bureau is also required by law to protect your answers. Your responses are used only to produce statistics. The Census Bureau does not disclose any personal information

What can I do to help spread the word?

Talk to leadership in your community about the critical census data used in Community and Economic Development and for funding in your community. Businesses need this to information to have demographics to locate in the most profitable area for their business.

In addition, you can engage with your local Complete Count Committee to get the word out. Visit the Census Bureau website to learn more about how to get involved.