The Critical Role of Local Governments in Census Updates

The help of local governments is needed to make sure the federal government's address data is up to date which will make for a more accurate census.

BLOG POST | Oct 30, 2017

Local governments have a critical role to play to ensure that the Census Bureau has accurate counts and accurate addresses for the upcoming 2020 Census.   The Local Update of Census Addresses Program (LUCA) helps determine voting precincts and proportional representation in Congress and in state legislatures.  The data also are used for federal grant formulas and the distribution of some $675 billion in federal funds.

How does LUCA work?  The Census Bureau has already sent advance notification to all eligible governments.  Local governments can submit address information through its Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS), a self-contained Geographic Information System (GIS) tool that sends out its GIS data to local governments and asks local officials to compare the federal government records with their data.  Access to this comprehensive data includes residential structure latitude/longitude coordinates and ungeocoded census residential address.

It is important for local governments to participate in this effort as new housing developments may have been built over the last 10 years.  Local governments can access the Census data in a digital format.  Smaller local governments with 6,000 or fewer addresses that do not have GIS can request a paper list of addresses. 

Without accurate housing data, the Census may miss a large number of residents in its 2020 count.  The Decennial Censure of Population and Housing is one of the most important tasks that the federal government does. The U.S. Constitution mandates a  count of every resident every ten years.l Local governments have a critical role to play to ensure an accurate Census count.


Additional Resources: 

The 2020 Census Local Update of Census Addresses Operation (LUCA)- This flyer contains information on who can participate in the US Census Bureau's Local Update of Census Addresses Operation.

2020 Census Funding Remains at Risk-this article talks about ICMA's Efforts to ensure that there is adequate funding for The 2020 Census 




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