The United States counts its population once every 10 years, and its next census is coming in 2020. The City of Indianapolis kicked off an effort on Tuesday to make sure marginalized groups get involved.
Census accuracy is important, largely because the data is used to determine how federal funds are distributed across the county. Mayor Joe Hogsett says new city committees will work to encourage people to complete the census in historically undercounted – and underrepresented – communities.
“Like renters, low income residents, immigrant populations, and African American communities," Hogsett says.
U.S. Rep. André Carson says it’s crucial to reach immigrants, especially those who face a language barrier.
“And it’s incredibly important that members of these communities know that their participation is meant to include them, not to target them," Carson says. "We need to count everyone who was here, documented or undocumented.”
The census committee will hold regular meetings leading up to the census, to plan outreach efforts. Officials say this will be the first national census conducted primarily online.