Grants available to help communities with 2020 Census

The National League of Cities wants to ensure all communities are counted

The National League of Cities is making $1.6 million in grant funds available to cities, counties, tribal governments, and local partners across the country. Grants range from $2,500 to $40,000, with funding targeted for historically undercounted communities.

All four counties in this region have areas designated as being among the hardest to count in the U.S. Hard-to-count means that less than 74% of the area’s 2010 census forms were mailed back.

There were 103 census tracts in central Puget Sound with less than a 74% return rate, according to CUNY data used by the National League of Cities.

Their website has a map of the tracts and data on factors that can affect each census tract's participation in the next census, such as internet access, historically undercounted populations, and low English proficiency. If an area is undercounted in the census, it could have less federal aid and representation in government.

Cities, towns, tribal governments, and counties are eligible for the grants, as are local partners working with city leaders, such as nonprofit or community-based organizations, social service providers and libraries.

The National League of Cities says projects like these would be appropriate for grant funds:

  • Buying tablets and creating census kiosks around the city.
  • Increasing printing budget to produce posters, fliers, door hangers, stickers, or buttons.
  • Hiring additional staff for the duration of the census for activities to reach historically undercounted communities.

Proposals will be accepted on a rolling, on-going basis until all funds are granted, or by July 31, 2020, whichever comes first.

Contact the National League of Cities for more information at