In 2010, during the last decennial population count, nearly one in four Inland Empire households didn’t mail back their census questionnaire. What’s more, another 40,000 people throughout the region didn’t receive a questionnaire by mail at all.

Why does this matter? Because undercounted regions miss out on vital federal and state funding, hindering potential growth in those regions for years to come. In a place like the Inland Empire, which has seen significant growth over the past decade, missing out on funding could be especially damaging. 

This fall, staffers and students at the University of California, Riverside, are mobilizing in a variety of ways to ensure a more accurate regional population count in 2020. 

Leading the charge is the Center for Social Innovation, which two weeks ago spearheaded the formation of UCR Counts, the university’s official Complete Count Committee. An initiative of the U.S. Census Bureau, the Complete Count Committees program is key to creating census awareness in communities nationwide through targeted outreach efforts.

UCR Counts brings together representatives from the center, which is housed within the School of Public Policy; Student Life; Governmental & Community Relations; the Associated Students of UC Riverside, or ASUCR; and Undocumented Student Programs.