Photo: Census 2020

Reflecting on the Census 2020 Education Project

Posted on September 28, 2021 by Hannah Saeger Karnei, Inaugural TPF Fellow

In the summer of 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau released initial data findings from the 2020 Census. While the 2020 Census was expected to conclude in late spring, the unexpected and far-reaching impact of COVID-19 delayed final data collection. The Census Bureau has been working hard to analyze the data while checking for accuracy. So, what did we learn from the Census 2020 Education Project?

First and foremost, community makes the difference. Census 2020, from beginning to unexpected end, was led by community advocates across every sector. From hosting educational events to knocking on doors to writing guest columns in the paper, community advocates put voice to the importance of every person being counted.

Second, while every person counts, not every person feels safe enough to be counted. Studies from all over the world have shown us that trust in institutions, especially the government, is eroding. Because of this, some of our communities were very difficult to count and likely are underrepresented by Census data. Despite hearing from faith leaders, nonprofit leaders, and business leaders, trust matters most. It’s up to us to spend the next nine years building that trust so that everyone can participate when it matters most.

And lastly, we’re growing. Florida grew by more than 14% from 2010 to 2020. Manatee county grew by an amazing 23%. This means that our communities need more resources, our schools more support, our medical systems greater supplies. Growth in Florida’s population is expected to continue to grow -- making the Census count even more important. It would be impossible to provide the necessary resources for our communities if we were off by a few million people.

Here is just a small snapshot of local numbers.
census snapshot

You can access the Census data at any time, for free. We’ve found that the easiest to use resource is the 2020 Population and Housing State Data visualization.

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