Let’s Talk Census
Posted on 05.09.2019, Thursday

In North Carolina and across the US, we struggle to adequately count children. But what does that mean for the decade to follow? Did you know that 73,000 NC children are in jeopardy of not being counted in the upcoming 2020 census?

The Census, which is collected every decade, determines the number of seats each state receives in the House of Representatives. It also guides the distribution of federal funds to communities… THE MONEY. Many federally funded programs support children here in Durham and by undercounting children we risk limiting resources for children at their most critical time.

A new report from NC Child and NALEO Educational Fund, “The Statewide Implications of Undercounting Latino Children,” explores one of the groups most often missed in the Census count: young Latino children. Often times Latino youth are located in hard-to-count populations such as:

  1. Children under age 5

  2. Racial and ethnic minorities

  3. Linguistic minorities

  4. Low-income families

  5. Migrant Families

How Do We Count Our Kids?

Expand the pool of trusted messengers: Broaden the circle of people and organizations who can provide outreach in their communities – child care providers, clergy, schools and libraries. Trusted messengers encourage participation among people most likely to be missed.
Address the digital divide: Provide online access for all families to participate in the census, either in local libraries or schools. Many low-income and rural communities across North Carolina still lack access to broadband internet.
Keep the untested citizenship question off 2020 Census questionnaires: A question about citizenship will only play on fears in the immigrant community, driving the count further downward. Read our recent blog on this subject.

For more information about the census and its impact on children please visit NC Child.org.