The ten question Census will be largely digital for the first time, and there are a lot of communities and populations that stand to be left out of the count, including traditionally hard-to-count populations like New Americans, and people with limited access to internet and limited experience with technology.
There are a lot of things tied to the Census, including the basic tenets of democracy and representation in our State and Federal government, and, what resonates more with people in studies, state and federal funds received locally; young families are more likely to participate in the Census when they find out it affects funding for their community. Federal funding for Medicaid, local schools, highway planning and construction, CHIP, WIC, SNAP, HEAP, and more are distributed using formulas based on the decennial Census. Similar formulas based on the Census or based on formulas based on the Census are used to allocate state funding for programs like the Community Development Block Grant Program, and Census data is used for planning purposes by businesses and nonprofits. An inaccurate count will result in lost funding, which helps offset state and local funds, and reduced representation at the state and federal levels.
Libraries can help ensure a complete count by partnering with Community Based Organizations, local governments, and anyone interested in getting the word out about the Census. Libraries can also provide support as tech hubs and trusted organizations in their community.