TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Data collection for the next US Census will begin one year from today, April 1, 2020.
Census data that is collected every ten years will be used for a host of purposes by the government, including the allocation of billions of federal dollars as well as for the distribution of seats in Congress and updating district boundaries in the state legislature.
During a news conference at the state capitol Monday, several Democratic state lawmakers said the Census Bureau needs to do everything possible to make sure everyone living in Florida is counted, including members of minority groups and undocumented immigrants.
Depending on a US Supreme Court ruling expected later this year, the census could include a question about US citizenship. This worries Senate Minority Leader Audrey Gibson, who feels many minority groups could be underrepresented in census counts out of a fear of answering some potential questions.
“We don’t want to scare individuals off from being counted," said Gibson. "No one should fear being counted in the census. We want to make sure that all communities are benefited by the counting of them and their families.”
Following the 2010 Census, Florida gained two new House seats in Congress for a total of 27, tied with New York and trailing only California and Texas.
With Florida having passed New York in population over the last decade, it is expected Florida will gain one or two seats in Congress, while New York and several other mostly northern states are expected to lose some representation.