Building Philanthropy for a Better Florida

Census time, Floridians. Stand up and be counted.

April 14, 2020

There’s money coming to your mailbox this week. Beginning Thursday, U.S. households will start receiving invitations in the mail to participate in the 2020 Census. The census counts every person in the country, and those figures are used to determine a host of benefits, from a state’s share of federal dollars to its representation in Congress. As the nation’s third-largest state, Florida has a particular interest in netting its fair share—and that requires every Floridian to stand up and be counted.

The Constitution requires a census every 10 years, providing a snapshot in time of where people live, and a basis for distributing hundreds of billions of dollars in annual federal aid, for everything from schools and highways to health care and housing. In 2017, 316 federal programs used 2010 Census data to shape $1.5 trillion in federal spending to states, local governments, nonprofits and individuals across the nation. Florida received $86.7 billion, with billions going for health care, student loans and food assistance. Census results are also used to reapportion the number of seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives. Florida gained two additional House seats because of population growth reflected in the 2010 Census, and is expected to gain two additional seats after the 2020 cycle, increasing its House delegation to 29.

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