Are you prepared for the 2020 Census?
Make yourself count by filling out the Census. It consists of 10 questions that will take no more than 10 minutes to complete.
In preparation for the 2020 Census, it is important to understand the significance of the API community being accurately represented.
What is the Census?
Every 10 years the federal government is required to count everyone living in the United States. This includes people of all ages, races, ethnic groups, and citizens and non-citizens. The Census form can be completed either online, by mail, or by phone no later than October 31st, 2020.
Why does the Census matter to API?
The Census counts population and households, which provides the basis for reapportioning congressional seats, redistricting, and distributing federal funds to support community programs that impact housing, education, healthcare, transportation, employment, and public policy.
Did you know that for every person who fills out the Census, Washington receives around $20,000 in federal funding? The 2010 Census showed that in one major city the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) population doubled, leading to an additional $50 million for community services.
Unfortunately, 1 in 5 Asian Americans and 1 in 3 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders are at risk of being undercounted. On top of that, the binary gender options on the Census will erase population counts for trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming communities. The lack of languages available to fill out the paper-version of the Census also present a challenge to communities that don’t speak English. All of these issues are valid flaws of the 2020 Census, and we will work to make sure that these are addressed. But pressing issues are here now.
The global COVID-19 pandemic affects Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities at a rate higher than other communities here in King County. By filling out the Census, we can help our communities receive healthcare and funding for hospitals that we all deserve. Join us in pledging to be counted.
Why are Asians & Pacific Islanders ‘hard to count’?
The Leadership Conference Education Fund identified four main barriers facing Asian American and Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander communities when it comes to filling out the Census:
1) Language Barriers: 75 percent of Asian Americans and 41 percent of Native Hawaiians & Pacific Islanders speak a language other than English.
2) Poverty: Overall, using the official poverty measure, about one in eight Asian Americans is in poverty (12 percent), while the same is true for one in five NHPI (18 percent).
3) Education: While at least 85% of Asians and Pacific Islanders have attained a high school degree or higher, there are great disparities within different API subgroups. For example, while at least 95 percent of Japanese Americans have a high school degree or higher, only 53 percent of Burmese Americans do.
4) Housing Insecurity: Almost half (47 percent) of Asian Americans who are low-income and 40 percent of NHPIs who are low-income live in locations with the highest housing costs in the country, often leading to greater challenges in finding stable and affordable housing.
Irregular housing, lower education attainment, poverty and low rates of English proficiency are key factors that impact undercounting in our communities. Find out more here.