Complete count means billions to Greater Cincinnati over the next 10 years
GREATER CINCINNATI – In honor of Census Day (April 1), elected leaders and dozens of local organizations have come together to remind residents that there is power in numbers and now, more than ever, we need to ensure every resident of Greater Cincinnati is counted in the 2020 Census. Even a small undercount would cost the region tens of millions of dollars over the next 10 years.
“The City of Cincinnati has realized tremendous growth throughout the last 10 years, and it is imperative all residents show up in the Census count to reinforce that fact,” said Mayor John Cranley. “This year, 2020, is the first opportunity we have to show a region that has historically been declining in population and development finally on the rise.”
A network of nonprofits, local governments, churches, community organizations and businesses make up Greater Cincinnati’s Complete Count Committee (CCC), which has spent the past several months developing strategies to encourage all households in the region to fill out the Census. The focus has been finding ways to reach historically hard-to-count communities and populations.
But the Complete Count Committee cannot do it alone. The group is calling on all Greater Cincinnati residents to fill out the Census and then help spread the word. Residents can fill out the Census at my2020Census.gov. After filling out the Census, they are asked to share one of the attached digital stickers on social media, along with the hashtag #GreaterCincyCounts, to show their support for Greater Cincinnati.
“Our population count determines the amount of federal resources we receive for important safety net services and local economic development. We are seeing that formula play out right now with the stimulus package surrounding the COVID-19 crisis,” said Hamilton County Commission President Denise Driehaus. “As we recover from the financial impacts of this pandemic, we need every person counted so we can collect our fair share.”
“As the COVID-19 global pandemic inundates our social service providers with need for assistance among many Cincinnatians, we must capitalize on the opportunity to reach the next level of state and federal funding we could qualify for with a complete and accurate Census count,” Cranley added. “Cincinnati was only 70 percent counted in 2010 which directly impacts the aid we can provide to citizens now and throughout the duration of 2020. It is imperative we all understand that an undercount of population leads to communities and individuals that are under-served. It is critical for us to correct the course and maximize resources so we can properly plan for the future of our city. That process begins with everyone being counted in the Census.”
April 1 is Census Day, a key reference date for the 2020 Census. When completing the Census, residents are asked to include everyone living in your home on April 1, 2020. April 1 is also the day when everyone living in the United States should have received mail from the U.S. Census Bureau inviting them to fill out the Census.
The 2020 Census will not only determine regional representation in Congress, but it will also inform the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding for essential services and infrastructure such as roads, schools, housing, transportation, hospitals and more for the next decade. An undercount means fewer resources for everyone. For every person not counted in the 2020 Census, Hamilton County loses $1,814 of federal funding annually for 10 years. Due to an undercount in the 2010 Census, it is estimated that a total of $3.4 billion of federal funding was lost during the last decade in Cincinnati ($1.6 billion) and Hamilton County ($1.8 billion).
“The Census is about parity and equity. When we think about ‘hard-to-count communities,’ we are talking about an estimate of $1,800 lost per person in federal assistance,” said Eddie Koen, CEO of the Urban League of Greater Southwestern Ohio. “It’s imperative that we take advantage of new online tools that weren’t available a decade ago, and partner with community and non-traditional organizations that are on the ground to complete the Census.”
"The data collected by the Census impacts virtually every facet of funding for our local and state communities – even the number of Ohio's elected representatives in Congress," said UC President Neville G. Pinto. "It also has an impact on federal funding that helps students in need to have the means to pursue a college education and makes possible the important research work being performed by our faculty and graduate students. By making sure we are all counted, we ensure that UC continues to be a tremendous partner to Greater Cincinnati as a key economic and workforce development engine."
Besides being incredibly important for the health and well-being of the Greater Cincinnati community, the 2020 Census is safe and easy. For the first time, people will be able to respond online in addition to traditional paper options or phone response. It takes less 10 minutes to complete. Census information is also confidential and secure. No court or law enforcement agency can access your individual responses, which under Title 13 remain confidential for 72 years.
Residents can fill out the 2020 Census at my2020census.gov or by calling 1-844-330-2020.