The U.S. Census Bureau’s goal for the 2020 Census is to count everyone once, only once and in the right place. With more than 135 million addresses nationwide, it’s a monumental task that the Census Bureau can’t do alone.
One way the Census Bureau receives help is through an operation called the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA). This is where tribal, state and local governments help the Census Bureau compile a complete and accurate address list for the country.
“By participating in LUCA, governments can help ensure that they get an accurate count in 2020,” said Mel Troxell, a geographer with the Census Bureau. “That’s important, since decennial census data is not only used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, but also used to distribute billions of dollars in federal funds, and helps communities plan for future needs.”
"It is important for governments to participate in LUCA because it’s their only opportunity to review and comment on the address list that will be used to conduct the 2020 Census.”
— Mel Troxell, Census Bureau geographer
Each year, the federal government distributes more than $675 billion dollars in federal funding. This money helps pay for important programs and services such as creating jobs, providing housing, building roads and schools, public health programs, education, and emergency preparation.
The Census Bureau’s request for address verification assistance started back in July 2017 when it mailed out invitation letters and registration forms to thousands of tribal, state and local governments across the nation.
A record 11,537 governments across the country fully registered for LUCA. About 98 percent of the population and housing is covered by at least one LUCA participant. This compares to 93.5 percent of the population and 92.9 percent of the housing for the 2010 LUCA.
|American Indian Areas
The importance of LUCA can’t be overstated. Before the Census Bureau starts counting the population, it has to know where to count. The participation of local governments is vital in ensuring an accurate 2020 Census, and in helping to prepare their communities for the future.
“It is important for governments to participate in LUCA because it’s their only opportunity to review and comment on the address list that will be used to conduct the 2020 Census,” said Troxell.
LUCA registration is now closed. Training workshops are underway to help participants fill out forms. Self-training aids and webinars are also available online at the 2020 LUCA website or in the LUCA press kit.
Daniel Velez is a public affairs specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau.