LOS ANGELES--To ensure that every Californian is counted in the 2010 U.S. Census, the state’s largest, private health foundation today announced that it will make $4 million in grants towards a statewide campaign that will promote the importance of participating in the Census, particularly in the large number of "hard to count" communities throughout the state.
“Hard to count” populations are among California’s most vulnerable residents – low-income communities and communities of color.
The federal government makes funding allocations based on population counts from the Census, and for every resident not counted, the state will lose an estimated $11,500 in federal funding over the course of 10 years according to 2009 data from the Brookings Institution.
“At a time when the state is facing declining revenues, it is critical to the people of California that we ensure every resident is counted so we don’t lose out on federal funding essential to the health and well-being of all Californians,” said Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of The California Endowment.
“If 10 percent of California’s population of 37 million is not counted, the state stands to lose $42.4 billion in federal funding over the next decade,” Ross added.
About one-third of that funding is directly tied to health services, while all of the funding is tied to individual and family well-being which, in turn, is a significant component of health status.
California is home to 10 of the 50 counties in the nation that have been identified as being the hardest to count: Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange, San Bernardino, Fresno, Riverside, Alameda, Sacramento, Kern and San Francisco. These counties are home to large populations that have been historically underrepresented in the Census, including immigrants, people of color, low-income communities, rural areas and those who live in multi-family housing.
The California Endowment's Census grants will be focused on outreach in these 10 counties. With limited resources available from the state for Census outreach, the foundation is also collaborating with other funders, the State and the U.S. Census Bureau to coordinate efforts and stretch limited resources to support a statewide Census outreach campaign.
Ross praised the work of the California Community Foundation, which recently announced it will offer grants to nonprofit organizations to promote Census participation in Los Angeles County's hard-to-count communities.
The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. The Endowment makes grants to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of the people of California. To date, The Endowment has awarded nearly 11,000 grants across California totaling more than $1.9 billion. For more information, visit The Endowment’s Web site at www.calendow.org.