Simply put, the census is a vital tool for business development and growth. Businesses use data derived from the census and the American Community Survey to measure the size of a market for their services. It helps enterprises both large and small make informed decisions, such as where to open new facilities or expand existing ones, how to invest in efficient marketing and merchandising strategies, forecast demand, growth and staffing needs.
Grocery stores use the data to project sales and plan supermarket sites or remodeling existing stores. Health systems use it to determine the need for hospital services, physicians and urgent care facilities in communities they serve, and Nielsen relies on it to calculate television viewership ratings, as well as inform marketing decisions and advertising rates. The examples are endless, and all this is on top of the more than 300 census-guided federal programs, which pump $700 billion each year into communities from coast to coast.
The census is more than an important business issue: An accurate census is a national economic imperative. Unfortunately, this critical resource is facing unprecedented threats, posing serious risks to its success.