With the 2020 census one year away, the newly formed 2020 Maryland Complete Count Committee (CCC) has held its first meeting in Annapolis as the state prepares and mobilizes for the decennial census. The Maryland CCC includes nonprofit leaders, elected officials, state agency heads, and county and municipal government representatives.

The 2020 decennial census is required by law to count every person in the United States. Census information is used to distribute billions in federal funds for programs and services, reapportionment for Congress and local legislative districts, and for important local economic development and planning decisions. The census is confidential and protected by federal law. Census Day is April 1, 2020 – the date where every person living in the U.S. is asked to fill out and submit their census forms by mail and for the first time ever, online.

The U.S. Census Bureau urges the formation of CCCs at the state, jurisdictional and municipal level to organize census efforts. For every Marylander uncounted, it is estimated to cost the state more than $18,250 per person in unaccessed federal funds, which provide critical funding for programs including Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and transportation.

In addition to the efforts of the CCC, the 2020 Census Grant Program last week announced more than $4 million in funding to nonprofit organizations and local governments to perform census outreach initiatives to increase Maryland’s return rates in low response communities and hard-to-count populations including ethnic minorities and young children.

The CCC will meet at least quarterly until March 31, 2020, and will provide an interim report to Gov. Larry Hogan by Dec. 31, 2019, with a final report summarizing the activities and suggested improvements by Sept. 30, 2020. To learn more about Maryland’s census efforts, visit census.maryland.gov, send an email to [email protected] or via social media on Twitter @MDCensus2020.