Census Bureau Appropriations Talking Points
Overview: The U.S. Constitution (Article I, Sec. 2) requires a census every 10 years to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the 50 states. The Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal representation based on census results to draw legislative districts implies that the census must be as accurate as possible. It takes 10+ years to plan and execute a census, with a necessary funding ramp-up over the course of each decade.
The U.S. Census Bureau must spend resources wisely. At the same time, it cannot cut corners in the effort to achieve a fair and accurate census. Unfortunately, the success of the 2030 Census is threatened if Census Bureau funding is frozen or reduced between now and 2030. The Census Bureau cannot plan and prepare for an accurate count in all communities — and produce other statistics required to administer federal programs, enforce civil rights laws, and steer economic policy — without appropriate funding increases year over year throughout the decade. Congress must find a way to ensure adequate funding for the 2030 Census every year; it is constitutionally obligated to do so.