Why Does the 2020 Census Matter for Westmoreland County?
Making sure that Pennsylvanians
are fully counted in 2020
Many Pennsylvanians may wonder why the 2020 Census matters. There are three simple reasons. First, it’s in the Constitution that every resident must be counted every ten years. Second, it’s important to participate to make sure we have fair representation in Congress. And lastly, our census count will affect the next decade of federal spending, policy, and decision-making.
Census Day is April 1, 2020, and our community is currently organizing resources to ensure a complete and accurate count; because an incomplete count in Westmoreland County can negatively affect the count and impact in Pennsylvania.
For every family of 5 that does NOT complete the census, our county loses roughly in funding.
Countdown Has Begun!
As the U.S. Census Bureau says, we can “shape our future.”
April 1, 2020 is National Census Day.
Please participate in the census in 2020 and help us make sure all our neighbors are counted.
for Westmoreland County.
The U.S. Constitution requires a census count every 10 years. The first census was in 1790.
The census covers the entire country and every person living here. The census counts every person living in the U.S. once (and only once) in the right place. You are counted based on where you are living on April 1, 2020.
You might be living in a group housing situation (like a dorm or nursing home), apartment, or house.
You might be experiencing homelessness. Regardless of your living situation, you count as a Pennsylvanian.
It also doesn’t matter what your citizenship status is, how old you are, or your gender. If you live here, you matter to the census.
for Westmoreland County
Neighborhoods change over time. The census captures increases, decreases, and changes in community demographics.
The census is used to decide how many seats each state gets in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Pennsylvania has 18 Congressional representatives. We used to have 19 but lost a seat after the 2010 Census.
State officials use the results to redraw U.S. congressional and state legislative districts.
It's Also About
Federal Spending and Programs
Within Westmoreland County
Census data are used to decide how $675 B in federal public funding is spent every year.
Pennsylvania gets $26.8 B annually from just our 16 largest federally-funded programs. That’s about $2,000 per Pennsylvanian each year.
These numbers may change depending on our 2020 Census count.
Federal funding supports many programs and services for Pennsylvanians, including healthcare, food security, education, transportation, housing, community development, families and more.
Housing & Community Development: Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans, Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments, Public and Indian Housing, Community Development Block Grant Entitlement Program, Public Housing Capital Fund
Rural: Rural Electrification Loans and Loan Guarantees, Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities, Rural Rental Assistance Payments, Business and Industry Loans, Cooperative Extension Services
Families: TANF, Title IV-E Foster Care, Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States, Unemployment Insurance Administration, Adoption Assistance, Child Care Mandatory and Matching Funds
Specific programs you might recognize include:
Healthcare: Medicare (Part B), Medicaid, CHIP, WIC, Healthcare Centers
Food: SNAP, School Breakfast Program, National School Lunch Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program
Education: Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Student Loans, Title I Grants to Local Educational Agencies, Special Education Grants, Head Start
Transportation: Highway Planning & Construction, Federal Transit Formula Grants, Federal Transit Capital Investment Grants
for Westmoreland County
- Your voice is vital. Share what you know about the census.
Talk to others about the census. Help educate others about their role as residents.
In your own workplace, share information with your coworkers and employees about census.
If you belong to a group involved in community outreach, please consider joining our efforts to promote the census so we can get a complete count for Westmoreland County.
- Fill out your household census when it arrives.
- Easiest way to support the census is by filling out yours when it arrives.
Make sure your household’s census includes every person living in your home on April 1, 2020.
- Be a good neighbor. Encourage others to complete their census.
- As good neighbors, we want everyone in our communities to be counted.
Many of us probably know friends, family, coworkers, and others who don’t know about the importance of completing the census.
Please do your part to spread awareness in your community.
- Information and outreach resources are available at pa.gov/census. We need your help to reach all our residents. Everyone counts.
Your help is especially important for getting the word out our neighbors living in our traditionally hard-to-count communities.
Some of the Pennsylvanians who are most likely to be missed in our census count include children, immigrants, and people of color. Rural households and residents experiencing economic hardship or homelessness are also likely to be missed.
If we don’t count every resident, we risk losing out on important federal public funding that supports important programs that affect healthcare, food security, education, transportation, housing and community development, families, and more.