Many Pennsylvanians may wonder why the 2020 Census matters. There are three simple reasons. First, it’s in the Constitution that every resident must be counted every ten years. Second, it’s important to participate to make sure we have fair representation in Congress. And lastly, our census count will affect the next decade of federal spending, policy, and decision-making.
It’s about fair representation. The census is used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pennsylvania has 18 Congressional representatives. We used to have 19 but lost a seat after the 2010 Census.
Census data are used to decide how $675 billion in federal public funding is spent every year. Federal spending on programs like highway planning and construction, transit formula grants, and transit capital investment grants. Pennsylvania gets $26.8 billion annually from just our 16 largest federally-funded programs. That’s about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year.
Everyone counts. Be a good neighbor and spread awareness in your community. Information and outreach resources are available at pa.gov/census.