News Flash

Economic Development

Posted on: January 23, 2020

Everyone Counts

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The U.S. Constitution mandates a complete population count every 10 years to apportion seats in the House of Representatives. The state uses it to draw boundaries for every level of government down to the school districts. An accurate census ensures fair and equal representation at all levels. 

Federal, state, and local governments rely on census data for planning and delivering education, economic development and employment, transportation and health services. In 2015, Washington received $13.7 billion in federal funds, which amounted to about $1,914 per person.1  In addition, the private and nonprofit sectors use census data in their planning and decision-making processes. 

PROGRAMSWA Obligations 1
Highway planning & construction$664 million
Education – Title 1 grants, special education, Head Start, school nutrition$815 million
Health insurance – Medicare, S-CHIP, Medicaid$9.7 billion
Supplemental Nutrition, including WIC (Women, Infants, Children)$1.7 billion
Rural assistance programs$555 million
Section 8 and other housing assistance$630 million 

The census process is safe, quick and very important to the future of our state and its communities. 

  • Important: By taking a few minutes to complete the census, you can help protect Washington’s voice in Congress, bring tax dollars to our communities and invest in better planning and services for your neighborhood. 
  • Easy: You can use the internet — via your home computer or on a mobile device — to submit your answers. 
  • Safe: Your personal data is confidential. Title 13 prohibits the Census Bureau and its employees from sharing personal responses with any other government agency or official or outside entity.

The census is a once-in-a-decade snapshot of who we are. You are an important part of that picture. You count in your neighborhood, county and state … Don’t be left out. Learn more about what you can do at www.ofm.wa.gov/2020census. 



1 Source: The George Washington Institute of Public Policy, Counting for Dollars 2020 (using fiscal year 2015 data) and Census-Guided Financial Assistance to Rural America (using fiscal year 2016 data).

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