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Census results could mean cuts to federal funding for some states

Posted at 1:10 PM, Apr 28, 2021

Congressional seats have shifted in 13 states. The U.S. Census Bureau released its first round of population count data Monday. Some states lost a seat based on the number of people who live there, while others gained one.

The shift could affect next year's midterm elections and determine whether Democrats can hold onto their slim majority in the House.

But the population tally goes beyond that. The nonprofit Ballotpedia says for states that lost a seat, it could mean cuts to federal funding.

“There are a lot of different policies and legislation that the federal government divides funds based on population, so a state that has seen less population will see a smaller share of those funds and those can be anywhere from highway funds to all kinds of federal programs,” said Dave Beaudoin with Ballotpedia

Other areas include money for schools, hospitals, equipment for first responders, Medicaid and Medicare, and even social programs in your community.

Meanwhile, other states could see the exact opposite and get more federal money, because population went up.

Watchdog group Common Cause says businesses even use this data to determine what to stock their shelves with. They often rely on more specific data like demographics, which the Census Bureau hasn’t released yet.

“Businesses need accurate data in order to carry out business efficiently. I know that when I go to the grocery store, I like seeing Black hair products and so that is all based off of census data and who lives in the community,” said Keshia Morris Desir with Common Cause. “The census is kind of like the first domino in the row of dominos. It just has so many impacts.”

The Census Bureau says it will release more specific data by September. States likely won't see any differences for several months, but the impacts will last over the next 10 years.