Why Should You Care About the 2020 Census?

Apr 2, 2019

According to UNM Geospatial Population Studies:

Billions of Federal Dollars are Distributed to States Based on Census Counts

  • New Mexico receives over $6 billion each year through federal programs that allocate funds on per capita basis
  • Funds Medicaid, Transportation Grants, Education Grants, Section 8 Housing Vouchers, Community Development Block Grants, and dozens of other federal programs
  • Each New Mexican not counted equates to a loss of approximately $3,000 every year for the next decade
  • Just a 1% undercount of New Mexicans in 2020 could result in a $600,000,000 loss of funds over a ten-year period
    • 20,000 people * $3,000 * 10 years ≈ $600,000,000


New Mexico is the State Most Vulnerable to Undercount

“Did you know that Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders, African Americans, American Indians and Alaska Natives have been undercounted for decades, disadvantaging their families, communities and neighborhoods?” (NCRP) On top of that, New Mexico is home to some of the nations “hardest-to-count” communities that are at a higher risk of an unfair and inaccurate count in the 2020 Census.

  • New Mexico’s unique demographics and geography make it the most difficult state to count
  • In 2000 the net undercount for New Mexico was nearly 2% or over 35,000 people
  • In 2010 New Mexico had the second lowest response rate in the US

Most at Risk of an Unfair and Inaccurate Census Count

  • Native Americans
  • Hispanics
  • African Americans
  • Children 0-4
  • Impoverished
  • Colonias
  • Immigrants
  • Remote Rural Areas
  • Homeless


Every New Mexican Counts

  • Local governments, tribal communities, non-profits, community organizations, faith-based groups, and anyone concerned with a complete and accurate census count may partner with the Census Bureau to form a Complete Count Committee
  • Complete Count Committees organize targeted campaigns that leverage trusted voices who can motivate every New Mexican to respond to the census


Download the UNM GPS Census 2020 Fact Sheet for more info

and visit our New Mexico Counts! Census 2020 page for updates


Sources: CUNY Mapping Service, https://www.censushardtocountmaps2020.us/; George Washington University Institute of Public Policy, Counting for Dollars 2020 New Mexico; National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, Now Is The Time To Act To Ensure A Fair And Accurate Census, 2018; Price Waterhouse Coopers, Effect of Census Undercount on Federal Funding to States and Selected Counties, 2002-20012; US Census Bureau, 2010 Census Coverage Measurement Results

Related Resources


Con Alma Health Foundation - The Heart and Soul of Health in New Mexico

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