The 2020 Census: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds
In FY2016, Washington received $16,676,186,274 through 55 federal spending programs guided by data derived from the 2010 Census.
The Counting for Dollars 2020 Project aims to understand:
the extent to which the federal government will rely on data from the 2020 Census to guide the distribution of federal funding to states, localities, and households across the nation and
the impact of the accuracy of the 2020 Census on the fair, equitable distribution of these funds.
The project has analyzed spending by state for 55 federal programs ($883,094,826,042 in FY2016). Three types of programs are analyzed:
Domestic financial assistance programs provide financial assistance — including direct payments to individuals, grants, loans, and loan guarantees — to non-federal entities within the U.S. — such as individuals and families, state and local governments, companies, and nonprofits — in order to fulfill a public purpose.
Tax credit programs allow a special exclusion, exemption, or deduction from gross income or provide a special credit, a preferential rate of tax, or a deferral of tax liability.
Procurement programs award a portion of Federal prime contract dollars to small businesses located in areas selected on the basis of census-derived data.
The four uses of census-derived datasets to geographically allocate funding are:
Define eligibility criteria — that is, identify which organizations or individuals can receive funds.
Compute formulas that geographically allocate funds to eligible recipients.
Rank project applications based on priorities (e.g., smaller towns, poorer neighborhoods).
Set interest rates for federal loan programs.
The two categories of census-derived datasets are:
Geographic classifications — the characterization (e.g., rural), delineation (e.g., Metropolitan Areas), or designation (e.g., Opportunity Zones) of specific geographic areas.
Annual updates of population and housing variables collected in the Decennial Census.
Household surveys collecting new data elements (e.g., income, occupation) by using the Decennial Census to design representative samples and interpret results.
Allocation of Funds from 55 Large Federal Spending Programs Guided by Data Derived from the 2010 Census (Fiscal Year 2016)
Total Program Obligations:
Financial Assistance Programs
Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid)
Community Facilities Loans/Grants
Federal Direct Student Loans
Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
Crime Victim Assistance
Medicare Suppl. Medical Insurance (Part B)
CDBG Entitlement Grants
Highway Planning and Construction
Public Housing Capital Fund
Federal Pell Grant Program
Block Grants for the Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse
Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers
Water and Waste Disposal Systems for Rural Communities
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
Social Services Block Grant
Very Low to Moderate Income Housing Loans
Rural Rental Assistance Payments
Title I Grants to LEAs
Business and Industry Loans
State Children's Health Insurance Program
Career and Technical Education - Basic Grants to States
National School Lunch Program
Homeland Security Grant Program
Special Education Grants
WIOA Dislocated Worker Grants
Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program
Federal Transit Formula Grants
WIOA Youth Activities
WIOA Adult Activities
Title IV-E Foster Care
Health Care Centers
Community Services Block Grant
School Breakfast Program
Special Programs for the Aging, Title III, Part C, Nutrition Services
Rural Electriﬁcation Loans and Loan Guarantees
Cooperative Extension Service
Public and Indian Housing
Native Amer. Employment & Training
Low Income Home Energy Assistance
Child and Adult Care Food Program
Federal Tax Expenditures
Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to the States
Low Income Housing Tax Credit
Child Care Mandatory and Matching Funds
New Markets Tax Credit
Unemployment Insurance Administration
Federal Transit - Capital Investment Grants
Federal Procurement Programs
Child Care and Development Block Grant
Prepared by Andrew Reamer, the George Washington Institute of Public Policy, the George Washington University. Spending data analysis provided by Sean Moulton, Open Government Program Manager, Project on Government Oversight. | January 30, 2019
Note: The sequence of the above programs is consistent with U.S. rank order by program expenditures. (See U.S. sheet in series.)