Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds

March 19, 2019

George Washington Institute of Public Policy

George Washington University's Counting for Dollars 2020 research project seeks to identify each federal program that geographically distributes financial assistance based, in whole or part, on data derived from the decennial census, and to ascertain the connection between census accuracy and the equitable distribution of funds to states and local areas.

The website contains reports and state tables on the following topics:
  • Initial Analysis: 16 Large Census-guided Financial Assistance Programs. This research area includes a Counting for Dollars 2020 Georgia factsheet that outlines census-based funding from 16 large federal assistance programs for FY 2015.
  • Estimating Fiscal Costs of a Census Undercount to States. The publication for this topic includes state-by-state fiscal impact analyses of a census undercount on federal allocations for several large programs that help states improve their residents’ well-being.
  • Federal Funding for Rural America: The Role of the Decennial Census. This report describes four types of federal domestic financial assistance targeted to rural areas, census-derived datasets important to rural areas, and the ways these are used to distribute funds. The report then identifies 55 census-guided rural programs and shows distributions by state for six large ones.
  • Census-derived Datasets Used to Distribute Federal Funds. This report discusses the types of federal funding guided by census-derived data and the ways that these data are used to distribute funding. It then schematically lays out and describes the 52 census-derived datasets. It concludes with observations about the uses of census-derived datasets in guiding federal spending and the
    implications for public policy.
  • Distribution of Funding from 55 Large Census-guided Programs by State. This section links to handouts, including a factsheet for Georgia, describing the FY2016 distribution by state of $883.1 billion from 55 large federal expenditure programs based on data derived from the 2010 Census. 

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