Study: Cen­sus doles out $1.5 tril­lion

Orlando Sentinel - - LOCAL & STATE - By Mike Sch­nei­der

More than $1.5 tril­lion in fed­eral fund­ing to state and lo­cal govern­ments is parceled out ac­cord­ing to cen­sus data, much more than pre­vi­ously thought, re­searchers said Mon­day.

The new to­tal shows just how im­por­tant it is to get the cen­sus num­bers right ev­ery 10 years. The same group put out a pre­lim­i­nary es­ti­mate of $880 bil­lion in May.

“It’s a lot of money,” said An­drew Reamer at Ge­orge Wash­ing­ton Univer­sity, who is lead­ing the re­search team.

The re­searchers ar­rived at the higher fig­ure by us­ing up­dated data from fis­cal year 2017 in­stead of fis­cal year 2016. They also ex­panded the num­ber of pro­grams un­der scru­tiny, from 55 to all 316 fed­eral pro­grams that rely on cen­sus-de­rived data.

Medi­care ac­counted for al­most half of the fund­ing, more than $710 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the re­searchers.

More than a quar­ter of the fund­ing went to Med­i­caid and six smaller so­cial ser­vices pro­grams.

Be­sides guid­ing how fed­eral money is dis­trib­uted, next year’s cen­sus also will de­ter­mine how many con­gres­sional seats each state gets.

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