Now that the 2020 Census is upon us, let’s give thought to who gets counted — and who doesn’t. Some of the facts may surprise you. Do readers know, for example, that children under 5 were the highest of any age group missed in the 2010 census — about 1 million young children?

When children are missed, programs like food stamps (SNAP), Head Start, WIC, school lunches, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program miss out on their fair share of some $675 billion in local funding. The effects of the 2020 Census will last for a decade — and for young children, that’s almost their whole childhood.

Which children get missed? Children who split time between two parents or live with another relative, children in lower income households, and even newborns are just three examples. There are many more.

Do you know families with young children who might be missed by Census 2020? There’s lots you can do just by sharing the facts and encouraging participation. Because every child counts.

Judith McDevitt

River Forest

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