With the U.S. 2020 Census set to begin in two and a half years, there is growing concern that a lack of sufficient government funding could jeopardize the quality of census data that retailers, developers and public officials rely on to make informed decisions about strategic development opportunities that strengthen our communities, provide for the efficient and effective delivery of goods and services, create jobs and promote economic growth.
The Trump Administration’s FY 2018 budget request for the U.S. Census Bureau is $1.497 billion, a two percent increase over FY 2017 funding. Observers believe the increase isn’t enough and will jeopardize 2020 Census preparations at a critical time as well as hobble other programs that are vital to our industry, such as the American Community Survey (ACS) and Economic Census. Census data remains the only source of objective, consistent and comprehensive information about the nation's social, economic and demographic characteristics down to the neighborhood level and continues to serve as the standard for many elements of market research, consumer targeting and retail network planning.
ICSC, as a member of The Census Project coalition, maintains that Congress should appropriate at least $1.8 billion for the Census Bureau in FY 2018. ICSC will continue to work with Members of Congress on this effort to make the case for a bigger increase in funding to this program.