Last week I got the opportunity to participate in a webinar hosted by Nonprofits Count that focused on the Census. It included great information and is now available on their website.
Some of the most compelling information dealt with groups that are traditionally undercounted, including low-income families, immigrants, communities of color... and young children. On the Census form, there is only room for 12 individuals to be counted - if more than 12 people live in a home, they must go on a separate form. In many cases, forms are filled out starting with the oldest person living in the household and ending with the youngest - which means that if there are more than 12 people in the house, the youngest might be left off entirely.
Information from the Census directly impacts funding for education, Head Start programs, WIC grants, and many other services. Without an accurate count, communities and their children may lack these important programs. Children are one of many reasons why Census education needs to happen now to ensure we get the right numbers next year.