Fact Sheet: Why the Census Counts (from the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights)

Why is the census a civil rights issue?

Census data are a vital tool for overcoming the nation’s legacy of slavery, racism, and discrimination. The collection of accurate, comprehensive race and ethnicity data – as well as data on gender, age, and household composition – in the census is central to implementing, monitoring, and evaluating many civil rights laws and policies, from fair political representation and voting reforms, to equal opportunity and access across all economic and social sectors of society, including housing, education, health care, and the job market.