February 27, 2020

Udall Launches Awareness Campaign to Encourage Accurate Census Count for New Mexico

Udall will be highlighting how the #CensusCounts and determines funding for important federal programs that support New Mexico communities

Census launches on March 12

WASHINGTON—Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-N.M.) announced he will be launching an awareness campaign to highlight how the “Census Counts” for New Mexico. Udall will be encouraging New Mexicans to fill out this year’s Census forms to ensure an accurate count and to ensure New Mexico receives its fair share of federal funding for critical programs. 

For each New Mexican who is not counted by the Census, New Mexico loses over $5,000 in funding per year for vital federal community programs, while undercounting the state’s population by just one percent would result in a loss of over $1 billion over the next 10 years.

Most New Mexicans will receive a Census invitation around March 12th and should submit their responses in writing, over the phone or online by June, before field staff begin going door-to-door. New Mexico Tribal communities will have paper copies dropped off at their homes.

Udall will be highlighting federal programs every week that provide vital services in New Mexico.

Udall will begin the campaign today using the hashtag #CensusCounts. Today, Udall will highlight Census-based healthcare funding in New Mexico: the Census helps determine funding levels for Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), critical programs for New Mexico. Medicare connects nearly 420,000, or one in five New Mexicans, with healthcare. In addition, over 735,000 New Mexicans are enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP. 

Udall will be using the hashtag #CensusCounts throughout the awareness campaign on his social media pages:

- Twitter: @SenatorTomUdall
- Facebook: @SenatorTomUdall
- Instagram: @SenatorTomUdall

“Every New Mexican counts—and one of the biggest contributions that New Mexicans can make to their neighbors, themselves, their families and their communities is to fill out their Census form,” said Udall, senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The form is only ten questions, but it plays a big role in determining how much funding New Mexico gets for healthcare, housing assistance and economic development.”

“New Mexico is one of the states most at-risk of an undercount – which would be devastating for our state – so we need to get this right,” Udall continued. “It is especially important for families to know that this Census does not include a citizenship question, and the Census Bureau is bound by law to protect your answers and keep them strictly confidential, not to be shared with any other government agency or court. New Mexicans can participate online, over the phone, or by mail. I urge all New Mexicans to fill out the Census forms and encourage their neighbors to do so as well, particularly those in rural, Hispanic and Tribal communities that have historically been underrepresented in the Census. I am looking forward to highlighting the critical programs that depend on a good Census in the coming weeks to secure a strong future for New Mexico over the next decade.”

How it works:

- The Census questionnaire is available online, by phone, and on paper. In addition, Census enumerators will perform door-to-door outreach during the Census period to ensure everyone is counted.
- The U.S. Census Bureau is bound by law to protect individual answers and keep them strictly confidential—ensuring that any private information is never published, shared with any other government agency or court of law.
- The 2020 Census does not include a question about citizenship status. 

More information about important Census dates can be found HERE.

Required by the Constitution, the Census is a population count of every person living within the United States, conducted every ten years. The U.S. Census data are the basis of vital federal funding allocation for programs like Medicare, Medicaid, school lunch programs, housing assistance and food assistance that are critical for families in New Mexico. The Census also provides the data that determines local, state, and federal representation, a building block of the democratic process. In 2017, New Mexico received over $10.7 billion through 55 federal programs guided by the numbers from the 2010 Census.