Why is Census 2020 important to Marshallese and Pacific Islander residents?
Marshallese in Arkansas are undercounted, meaning there are more Marshallese in Arkansas than have been counted in the previous Census.
State and local governments depend on data - on population numbers - to justify funding of schools and services. Advocacy groups, like MEI, use data to show that there is a need for things like scholarships for Marshallese students, or specific healthcare services, like cancer and diabetes treatment.
Ultimately, it is important that the U.S. Federal Government has an accurate count so that more resources can be distributed to the state to help Marshallese residents.
Examples of why it is important to have an accurate count:
Local school districts will know where to build new schools or expand existing ones,
Local governments will know how to plan for housing needs,
Healthcare providers will know what type of care they need to prioritize for the populations around them,
Businesses will know where to open new stores and services, and
Advocates, like MEI and ACOM will have data to draft and push for policies to help improve the lives of community members.