Think the Census is boring? It matters for North Carolina’s children and families.

Did you know that if all of North Carolina’s young children had been counted in the last census, the state would have picked up an extra Congressional seat? Not to mention billions more in federal investment in North Carolina’s children and families?

If you missed our recent webinar on the Census undercount, here’s your chance to catch up. Our friends Whitney Tucker and Adam Sotak from NC Child are leading the charge to ensure that ALL of North Carolina’s children get counted in the 2020 Census. Check out the recording of NCECF’s recent Will NC Children Get Their Fair Share of Federal Investments? webinar to learn about how the Census impacts funding for children, what is a hard-to-count census tract, why young children are particularly vulnerable, and how to support an accurate Census count in 2020. The PowerPoint presentation and other materials are also available at the same link.

An estimated 73,000 children in North Carolina under age 5 live in hard-to-count census tracts. If they are missed in 2020, the state stands to lose more than $5 billion in federal investments that support children’s healthy development in the areas that are relevant to the Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Measures of Success and Action Framework – investments like child care subsidy, Head Start, nutrition support (SNAP) and health care (Medicaid) that primarily benefit the most vulnerable children. Also concerning – the census undercount of young children is getting worse over time, according to the CountAllKids Committee, an initiative of the The Partnership for America’s Children and the Children’s Leadership Council. Since 1980, the net undercount rate of young children has tripled, while the census coverage of adults has improved to the point that there were small net over-counts in 2000 and 2010.

Counting kids may not sound all that exciting, but those numbers determine the funding and representation our kids get from the federal government. No matter what it is you do every day to support children and their families, getting an accurate Census count in 2020 should be on your agenda.