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Remarks by Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo at 2020 Census Population Counts for Apportionment News Conference

AS DELIVERED

Hello, everyone. I’m thrilled to join you on such a momentous day.

The decennial census plays a vital role in our democracy and I am proud of the work the Census Bureau has done over the past decade to complete the 24th decennial census. It is wonderful to witness all that work come to fruition.

First off, I want to thank all the dedicated staff at the Census Bureau. Without you, today would not have been possible.

2020 brought unprecedented challenges: a global pandemic, destructive wildfires, the most active hurricane season on record, and civil unrest across the country.  

With all of that happening, the Census Bureau had to quickly adapt its operations to confront these challenges head-on.

But the dedicated civil servants at the Census Bureau - with the assistance of state and local governments, and community groups– managed to overcome these hurdles and conduct a complete and accurate Census count.

Today, we express our gratitude to you and let you know how proud we are of your work.

I also want to thank the American people for their overwhelming participation in the Census.

While the Census Bureau has worked tremendously hard over the last year, a complete and accurate count wouldn’t have been possible without all those who took a few minutes to respond to the Census.

To all those that responded – thank you for participating in democracy.

As a former Governor, I know first-hand how critical Census data is for our communities. 

We know Census data is used to determine how many representatives each state has in Congress, but it is also used for so much more than that.

State and local officials, the federal government, non-profits all use Census data to make decisions that have a direct impact on our lives. We use the data to decide how many teachers we need in our schools, how much funding we need for public housing programs. Where to locate a business or a health clinic, and where to build new roads. We use it to make sure our economy is working for everyone.

This data is vital – and we’re lucky we have some of the best and brightest statisticians at the Census Bureau who have worked tirelessly this past decade. I trust these experts and I am confident of this work. 

Earlier today, I had the privilege of transmitting the 2020 Census population and apportionment counts for each state to the President. Per the Constitution, these counts determine the apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

This is a unique ritual that has occurred only 23 other times in American history. I assured the President that the Census was complete and accurate. President Biden will then deliver the population counts and apportionment results to congress as required by law.

Our work is not over yet and we look forward to delivering the redistricting data no later than September 30.

Thank you for having me today and congratulations on completing yet another Census.

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