Counting All Kids in the 2020 Census

Did you know that approximately 2.2 million children were missed in the 2010 Census? Or that young children had by far the worst undercount of any age group?

Every year more than $26 billion in federal funds is allocated to Pennsylvania based on census data. Here are some of the programs that affect children’s lives for which funding is based in whole or in part on census data:

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Head Start/Early Head Start
  • Title 1 grants to local education agencies
  • Special Education Grants (IDEA)
  • Women, Infants and Children
  • Title IV-E Foster Care

It’s important to ensure parents and guardians in hard-to-count areas understand the detrimental effects of an undercount of young children and the numerous programs critical for family stability and opportunity that would be at risk.

Kids aren’t counted in the census for a lot of different reasons…

  • The child splits time between two homes.
  • The child lives or stays with another family or with another relative such as a grandparent.
  • The child lives in a household with young parents or a young, single mom.
  • The child lives in a household that is large, multigenerational, or includes extended or multiple families.
  • The child is a newborn.
  • The child lives in a non-English or limited-English speaking household.
  • The child lives in a lower income household.
  • The child lives in a household of recent immigrants or foreign-born adults.
  • The child lives in a household that rents or recently moved.
  • The child lives in a household where they’re not supposed to be, for one reason or another.
  • A child who is staying temporarily with family or friends but has no permanent home.

Still, wherever a child is living on April 1st is where they should be counted, even if it is a temporary living situation!

The bottom line? We MUST count all kids, or we risk shortchanging communities. Sign up for “A Voice for Kids” to receive updates about counting all kids in the 2020 Census.

*** Download our 2020 Census Toolkit ***

Ways to Respond to the 2020 Census

  • For the first time, you can choose to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail
  • Filling out the form is safe, secure, quick and easy!
  • Help encourage self-responses in your community by urging parents and families to respond via phone by calling 1-844-330-2020. Due to the volume of calls, the bureau will CALL BACK if there is no answer. 
  • Visit for more information on filling out the form online, by phone or by mail

2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

The 2020 Census is underway and households across America are responding every day. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations in order to:

• Protect the health and safety of Census Bureau employees and the American public.
• Implement guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
• Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

Read the Census Bureau Statement on Suspending In-Person Interviews for Surveys

Guidance for Community Partners: Community partners are encouraged to follow guidance from public health authorities regarding events and group activities – including those related to the 2020 Census. The latest guidance and updates about COVID-19 in Pennsylvania can be found at the PA Department of Health website:

Addressing Concerns About Privacy

  • Responses to the 2020 Census are safe, secure, and protected by federal law
  • Answers can only be used to produce statistics—they cannot be used against anyone in any way
  • By law, all responses to U.S. Census Bureau household and business surveys are kept completely confidential

Resources to Help Get Out the Count

For Advocates & Stakeholders

For Business

For Elected Officials

For Military

For Parents, Families & Caregivers

  • NALEO’s Make Yourself Count in 2020 factsheets in English and Spanish

For People with Disabilities

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