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Some states are spending millions in state funds on the 2020 census, Texas isn’t spending any

EL PASO, Texas -- It's a new year and a new decade, which means it is time for another census population count. The county is used to help plan for community services and determine how many seats each state is given in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The 2020 Census will cost billions of dollars. Much of that funding will come from the federal government, but grants from nonprofits and funding from local and state governments also play a role.

Roughly half of the states in the U.S. are spending about $350 million collectively in state funds. The other states, including Texas, are spending none. On the higher end, California is spending alone roughly $187 million. New York is designating roughly $60 million.

El Paso-area census representatives say they will rely in part on grants from nonprofits, and the dedication of staff assisting with the count.

"Even with very little funding they're able to get people motivated because they speak the local languages, they are trusted voices, they're able to communicate to those hard to count communities that the census is not only safe but its important," said Paulina Lopez, a U.S. Census Bureau senior partnership specialist.

Lopez says locally, the City of El Paso and El Paso County have designated about $340,000. Beyond that, Lopez says the count will utilize resources already available.

"I think it's being strategic about how can we reach our communities," Lopez said, "what languages do they speak and what messages resonate best with them? Using already existing resources for example social media."

This year marks the first time people will be able to fill out the census in traditional paper format, over the phone with a live person and online.


Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.


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