In 2016, the State of Michigan received 35.9% of its 57.8 billion-dollar budget from the U.S. federal government. A significant amount of federal dollars, from highway planning to Medicare to Head Start, are determined by Census counts of population. So how could an undercount affect funding to states and municipalities like Detroit?
Types of Federal Assistance
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) defines four types of assistance in the form of direct loans, direct payments for specified use, formula grants, and project grants. Although there are many other types of federal funds, their allocation doesn’t depend on accurate census data. Direct loans are financial assistance from the federal government by federal dollars with expectation of repayment, according to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). There are only a few examples of programs funded by direct loans: projects like the Rural Energy Savings Program or Fisheries Finance Program qualify. GSA also defines direct payments for specified use as “monies given directly to private firms, individuals, and private entities to encourage or subsidize a particular activity” like Section 8 Housing Assistance Payments Program. Formula grants usually provide money to States, counties, or cities calculated by distribution formulas that are not restricted to specific plans. Medicare and Medicaid assistance are the most common and heavily funded type of formula grants. Lastly, project grants are funding confined to specific project for fixed periods of time, like Citizenship Education and Training provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. There are currently 132 programs ranging from veterans’ outreach to highway planning and construction that are listed in the report provided that distribute the four types of assistance. The aggregate total of money determined from these types of assistance is all computed with the help of census data. Essential services provided by government programs are all influenced by the census count. In 2016, Michigan received $77.4 billion from contracts, grants, loans, and other financial assistance. Wayne county received the most of all Michigan counties ($6.5 billion). The top funded agencies were the Social Security Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Veteran Affairs. At usaspending.gov, you can see how every tax dollar is spent in the United States including businesses and organizations who received contracts from the federal government.
- What is the Census?
- U.S. Census Budget Introduction
- 2020 Census Budget Challenges
- 2020 Cost-Saving Innovations
- How Does the Census Use Local Administrative Data?
- Data Security and the Census
- Redistricting and the Census
- Measuring Hard to Count Populations
- Census 2010’s Hard to Count Outreach Efforts
- Planned Hard to Count Programs for 2020
- Internet Access and the Census