Last year, CKF published a blog from guest contributor Cass Christopher about the importance of completing the 2020 Census. This blog follows up on that discussion and dives into some 2020 Census results and the impact of those results going forward.
Despite challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and concern of a citizenship question, Coloradans overwhelmingly completed the census. In total, the census counted 99.9% of Coloradan households, with 70% of Coloradans self-reporting their census responses.
Colorado was one of the fastest growing states in the past decade. From 2010 to 2020, Colorado’s population increased by 14.8%, or around 800,000 people, almost double the nationwide increase of 7.4%. This increase is important for a few reasons.
First, due to the population increase, Colorado gained one additional district, and therefore one additional representative in the U.S. House of Representatives. When this happens, the state redesigns the voting districts through a process called redistricting. Since districts should have equal population sizes, redistricting allows Colorado to better match how we choose our political representation to the current demographic makeup and population of the state. The Colorado Independent Redistricting Committee released preliminary redistricting plans and is currently considering feedback collected from the public. Revised districts will go into effect in 2022.
Second, the amount of federal funding that states receive is based on population size. Since Colorado’s population increased, the state will receive more funding for public services. For every person counted in Colorado, the state receives at least $32,000 in federal funds over the next decade. This funding is crucial for supporting public programs such as Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), highway planning and construction, Head Start, and much more.
Lastly, the Census Bureau is not publishing the 2020 American Community Survey, which tracks factors such as health coverage status, because of data collection issues from COVID-19. This comes after concerning findings from the 2019 ACS that children’s uninsured rate rose again in 2019, a trend continued from 2017. Due to this and the continuous eligibility provision, or lock-in to coverage for most Medicaid and CHIP members during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, we won’t see change in national uninsurance trends until the 2021 ACS. For Colorado specific trends, CKF publishes quarterly enrollment reports of Health First Colorado and CHP+ data.
Detailed findings from the 10 year census, including data on race and ethnicity, age, and housing, are available from the Census Bureau.