Accurate Census counts are far more than just a matter of interest. They are vital to ensuring adequate federal funding for various programs, appropriate representation in Congress, and an understanding of demographic trends to plan for the future. Over 300 federal programs rely on Census data to allocate funds geographically, as do numerous state and local initiatives. For example, many resources and dollars for hospitals and health clinics are distributed according to Census data. Important aspects of the social safety net, such as Medicaid and CHIP, SNAP, and housing vouchers, also depend on Census estimates, programs that will only become more vital as the economy continues to experience disruptions from the pandemic.
The coronavirus is clearly having notable effects on the markets and the economy, both nationally and in Texas. It is obviously the primary focus of our attention these days, as well it should be. One aspect of the situation which will almost certainly worsen in the weeks to come is the strain on the health care system. One thing we can all do to help prepare for future problems like the current pandemic is to respond to the Census.