A demonstrator holds a sign that reads "Count Me In" outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, June 27, 2019. The Supreme Court issued a mixed decision on the Trump administration's bid to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, saying the Commerce Department's explanation for adding the question was inadequate. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The Financial Ramifications of the 2020 Census

With rapidly occurring events like the Supreme Court nominations, Stimulus IV, and the Covid-19 death toll exceeding 200,000, you probably didn’t pay attention to the fact that the CENT$-US count deadline is September 30, 2020.  Here’s how your failure to participate in this year’s CENT$-US can affect your personal budget and economics.


If an entrepreneur is considering establishing a grocery or restaurant in your community, the U.S. Census Bureau information will play a critical role in assisting him/her in making a decision. Businesses use population statistics to help decide where to add jobs, open stores and offices in the community. In deciding to open a business the entrepreneur will need data to analyze who is his potential customers, how many live in the area and who are his competitors. With you being counted, responses could lead to more jobs added to the community and higher wages.

The Economic Census

In addition to the regular census there is an Economic Census. This Census is conducted every five years and collects extensive data about millions of businesses and industries across the country. The economic census in combination with the regular census conducted every ten years, impacts your finances personally since they identify new office locations and consumer spending. Small businesses will not invest if nobody lives or exists in your community because you refuse to participate in the census and be counted.


Here is a practical example. Some years ago, the state of Maryland was considering raising cigarette taxes. The state used the census information to determine how many people lived in various communities and which stores would be impacted by the tax increase. The data revealed that convenience stores and mom and pop stores in the community were mostly affected since they accounted for the largest portion of cigarette sales revenues. Based upon this information, the state at the time decided not to increase the cigarette tax because it would impact small business payroll and hiring. The Maryland State decision only underscores the critical need for your census participation.

With only days to go before the September 30, 2020 deadline, I encourage you to take action now and get counted in the 2020 CENT$-US. It is as much a financial benefit, as it is a social one.

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