Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds

March 19, 2018
As directed by Congress, several hundred federal financial assistance programs rely on data derived from the Decennial Census to guide the geographic distribution of funds to states, counties, cities, and households. To better understand the fiscal impacts of the upcoming 2020 Census on states and local areas, the Counting for Dollars Project aims to:
  • identify each federal program that geographically distributes financial assistance based, in whole or part, on data derived from the Decennial Census; and
  • ascertain the connection between Decennial Census accuracy and the equitable distribution of funds to states and local areas.
The distribution in FY2015 by state of $589.7 billion from 16 large federal financial assistance programs based on data derived from the 2010 Census.
Determination of the fiscal costs of a decennial census undercount on state treasuries for five U.S. Department of Health and Human Services programs that use the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), which is based on the 2010 Census population count. In FY2015, FMAP-determined reimbursements to and payments from state governments totaled $286.1 billion. 
#3 Federal Programs that Geographically Allocate Financial Assistance Based on Decennial Census Data (forthcoming)
A complete listing of all federal financial assistance programs that rely on census-derived data to allocate funding to geographic areas. Data for the nation only.