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Press release content from Business Wire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

Florida Counts Census 2020, a Statewide Initiative, Seeking to Raise $2 Million to Help Fund Outreach for the Census

November 20, 2019 GMT

MIAMI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov 20, 2019--

Florida Counts Census 2020, a statewide initiative formed by seven philanthropic and nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Florida, announced today it is seeking to raise $2 million dollars that will be invested to support a complete and accurate census count. The money raised by Florida Counts Census 2020 will help pay for a more complete count with the help of community, faith-based and nonprofit organizations in Florida. As the third largest and fourth fastest growing state in the country, an accurate count is essential for Florida to receive its fair share of federal funding, which is 1/3 of Florida’s total revenue. Florida Counts Census 2020 calls upon the community - organizations and individuals – to get involved. To learn more, visit the website www.FLcounts.com.

“Participating in the census is in everyone’s best interest because the more accurate the count, the more federal dollars the state of Florida will receive in order to drive our economy forward,” said Susan Racher, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, one of the seven nonprofits spearheading this initiative. “Florida had the third biggest number of omissions in the 2010 Census, omitting an estimated 7.5% of the population (1.4 million people) according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For each individual residing in Florida who is not counted, the state loses about $1,445 per year or $14,445 over ten years. Overall, Florida lost about $20 billion in federal funding between 2010 and 2020 because of omissions in the 2010 Census. Florida could have used these federal funds for economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and education, to name a few. Therefore, an accurate census is vital for Florida to receive its fair allocation of federal government funds.”

Each year roughly $800 billion in federal funding is effectively allocated based on population data from the census, including key investments in the economy such as infrastructure, transportation, the arts, education, elder care and children’s programs. In addition, information from the census is used to ensure proper distribution of political representation. For example, Florida could potentially gain two Congressional seats based on the 2020 count.

Florida is the 3 rd fastest growing state in the nation. In 2010, five of the 20 US counties with the highest omissions were in Florida: Orange County, Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade. Florida is among only 11 states within the U.S. that has neither budgeted state funding for the Census nor authorized a state-wide Complete Count Committee to assure that the state population is accurately counted.

“Given our population growth since 2010, Florida is at risk for an even larger number of missed individuals in 2020 if the Florida communities don’t step up and fund community-based organizations to conduct outreach to promote the most accurate and complete 2020 census count possible,” stated Racher. “We recognize that the decennial census must be conducted in a fair and robust manner that will ensure an accurate and complete count of all populations, especially those categorized as “hard to count” (HTC).”

The seven philanthropic and nonprofit organizations spearheading this initiative are: Wallace H. Coulter Foundation (WHCF), Florida Philanthropic Network, Florida Nonprofit Alliance, Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida C3 Civic Engagement Table, Urban League of Broward County and The New Florida Majority. Florida Philanthropic Network is a charitable organization, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3), that will accept donations, collect and distribute funds raised.

For more information on or to contribute to the work of Florida Counts Census 2020, please visit www.FLcounts.com.

Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. The next enumeration will be April 1, 2020 and will be the first to rely heavily on online responses. The data collected by the decennial Census is used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds to state and local government and determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives. For information on U.S. Census visit www.census.gov.

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SOURCE: Florida Counts Census 2020

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PUB: 11/20/2019 10:00 AM/DISC: 11/20/2019 10:00 AM