Should the 2020 Census fail to capture the population in Pennsylvania’s hard-to-count communities, the Commonwealth could see a substantial reduction in federal funds. Listen to this recap of updates on national, statewide and local activities currently being undertaken – and where philanthropy can continue to play a role – to ensure a fair and accurate census count.
It is hard to overstate the importance of ensuring a full and accurate count for the upcoming 2020 Census. The Commonwealth receives $26 billion annually in Census-directed funds, which includes funding for critical needs like healthcare, infrastructure, housing, rural communities, and local municipalities. For 2020, the risk and consequences of an undercount – especially for children, immigrants, people of color, and low-income and rural households – are higher than ever.
First, the Census provides critical data that funders, the public sector and others rely on to inform decisions about how resources are allocated. Second, Pennsylvania’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) is calculated on a per-capita basis for programs that have shared federal/ state funding, such as Medicaid. This means that if Pennsylvania undercounts its lower-income communities, the federal share of Pennsylvania’s public-sector funding to serve those communities will be less than it should be for an entire decade.
Jocelyn Bissonnette, Director of the Funders Census Initiative at FCCP
Erin Casey, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Voice
Jo Lin, Coalition Manager of Keystone Counts