Special Analysis 10-01
May 13, 2010

In a recent analysis, the Brookings Institution examined the impact of the decennial census on the flow of federal funds. The report’s findings underscore the notion that the single most important step a state can take to maximize federal funding is to ensure that all of its residents get counted in the decennial census. While population counts play a critical role in the distribution of federal funding, other formula factors, such as hold-harmless and minimum-allocation provisions, can mitigate the effect of population changes on state funding levels.

This analysis summarizes both the Brookings report and a recent census-related analysis issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO). To assess the impact of the census on grant allocations, it provides a detailed description of the funding formulas for population-dependent programs tracked by FFIS and the state funding levels associated with these programs