Skip to main content

Special Districts Encouraged to Complete Upcoming Census of Local Government Count

October 19, 2022 | Cole Arreola-Karr

The National Special Districts Coalition (NSDC) encourages all special districts to participate in the Census Bureau's 2022 Census of Governments. Completion of this survey provides critical insights to local governments that help advance advocacy and awareness for nation’s special districts.

As part of this important study of local governments: states, counties, cities, townships, special districts, and school districts will receive in early November a Census Bureau questionnaire regarding their organizational and financial measurements. The Bureau administers this survey every five years, as it is required to do so by federal law. The collected information is aggregated and published similar to the decennial population count.
The upcoming intake period will begin November 1, 2022, and end April 30, 2023.

Why is the Census of Governments important?

Information gleaned is analyzed and published in a series of reports and datasets providing aggregated insights to 90,000 local government across the country. As it is the only official comprehensive national governments dataset that is routinely and consistently gathered, the information is also used for federal grantmaking decisions. The Census of Government gauges performance of public sectors and can indicate important employment and financial trends. Finally, researchers, policymakers, and other interests – including NSDC – track the public sector economy and make decisions pertaining to state and local governments.

Although this survey is voluntary for local governments to complete, NSDC endorses this count as an important measurement of the nation’s special districts and strongly encourages special districts to complete the Census of Governments.

How NSDC uses data published from the Census of Governments

NSDC has leveraged data from the 2017 Census of Governments to convey the significance of special districts’ services to federal representatives’ constituents. The information helps NSDC understand the dynamics of local government services across state lines and informs different approaches to advocacy. Finally, the Census of Government data is the only official data measurement of services the Census Bureau can provide for special districts short of population figures. NSDC will continue working with the Bureau, members, and district stakeholders across the country over the decade ahead to secure population figures for special districts.

In all, your special district’s participation in the 2022 Census of Governments is critical to ensuring special districts are seen as an important element of local government and to NSDC’s advocacy for the nation’s special districts.

NSDC will be collaborating with the Census Bureau in the coming months to promote awareness of the Census, offer opportunities to connect with the Census Bureau on the local government count, and to together strive for as much local government participation in the 2022 Census as possible.

For more information on the Census Bureau’s Census of Governments program, visit For questions regarding NSDC and its engagement with the Census Bureau, contact Cole Arreola-Karr, NSDC Federal Advocacy Director. 

Join our mailing list