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Census 2020 News

A collection of some news stories concerning the 2020 Census

Last Updated: 09/11/18

DateSourceTitle
9/11/18Brookings Institution The decennial Census has big political and scientific problems, and not for the first time
Comparison of the political and methodological challenges faced in the 2000 and 2020 Census.
9/11/18The Conversation Can the census ask if you’re a citizen? Here’s what’s at stake in court battles over the 2020 census
Discussion of the legal issues surrounding the inclusion of the Citizenship question on the 2020 Census form.
9/5/18U.S. Census Bureau U.S. Census Bureau Demonstrates Readiness for the 2020 Census
Summary of results from End to End Census Test
8/2/18Forbes The 2020 Census -- Can We Count On It Or Not?
Critics of the citizenship question inclusion fear that this question, combined with the already volatile debate around immigration will lead to respondent's apathy, as undocumented respondents will face three options; either tell the truth, lie about their status or opt out of answering it, which means that two-thirds of the potential outcomes indicate tampering with the data.
However, this is not a matter that exclusively concerns the estimated 12 million undocumented residents in this country. Even documented immigrants like green card holders and naturalized citizens are expressing concerns with how the data gathered by the Census could be used as residents may be losing faith in government officials and may be afraid of answering the questionnaire altogether.
7/31/18The Atlantic The 2020 Census Is Already in Big Trouble
From cybersecurity issues to administrative problems to a legal drama over a possible citizenship question, there are plenty of reasons to worry about the decennial head count.
7/25/18National Public Radio Census Bureau Stops Plans For 2020 Census Advisory Committee
The U.S. Census Bureau has stopped plans to form a new committee of advisers for the upcoming 2020 census, according to a letter obtained by NPR.

The decision comes as the agency prepares for the once-a-decade head count of every person living in the country while battling multiple lawsuits over a new citizenship question and cybersecurity concerns about the first U.S. census to be conducted online. Similar advisory committees were put in place before the national head counts in 2000 and 2010.
7/20/18Science Census Bureau nominee becomes lightning rod for debate over 2020 census
If there's going to be a fight over President Donald Trump's choice for the next director of the U.S. Census Bureau, it won't be over whether Steven Dillingham has sufficient government experience: He's led two smaller federal statistical agencies and spent several more years at other agencies.

Instead, the fight will be over whether Dillingham, a 66-year-old native of South Carolina and rock-ribbed Republican, is capable of steering the agency through a sea of controversy as it prepares for the 2020 census. Democrats and civil rights groups worry he will do the bidding of his political bosses and undermine the integrity of the decennial head count. But those who know him, including liberal academics, say he's a straight shooter with good management skills and someone who doesn't let his conservative political views interfere with day-to-day operations.
7/18/18NextGov The Census Bureau is facing more problems in the lead up to the 2020 Census
The Census Bureau needs to fix multiple software and IT issues in its address canvassing operation or risks mishandling data in the 2020 count, according to a congressional watchdog.
7/16/18The Hill Ex-cyber officials demand to know security measures for 2020 Census
Former government cyber and technology officials are calling on the Census Bureau to publicly share its cybersecurity preparations for the 2020 Census after Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russians for the 2016 hack into the Democratic National Committee.
7/11/18National Public Radio "Citizenship Question Controversy Complicating Census 2020 Work, Bureau Director Says"
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"Controversy about the content of the census does complicate our messaging," acting U.S. Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin says in an exclusive interview with NPR. Jarmin is overseeing the 2020 census, the once-in-a-decade head count of every person living in the U.S. as required by the Constitution.
"We need to get responses from everybody whether they like the question or they don't like the question," says Jarmin, an economist who has served at the bureau since 1992. "We need to be able to get both sides of this debate to respond to the census."
7/10/18The New York Times Why Was a Citizenship Question Put on the Census? "Bad Faith", a Judge Suggests
From the moment it was announced in March, the decision to add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census was described by critics as a ploy to discourage immigrants from filling out the form and improve Republican political fortunes. The Commerce Department, which made the decision, insisted that sound policy, not politics, was its sole motivation.
7/9/18Los Angeles Times The 2020 census could undercount 1 million kids — which means less money for California schools
Almost a quarter of the nation's children under 5 are at risk of not being counted in the 2020 census, which could have serious implications for the well-being of children around the United States, according to a recent study by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
7/4/18Washington Times People who refuse to answer 2020 census citizenship question unlikely to be prosecuted
People who refuse to answer the citizenship question on the 2020 census are breaking the law —but there is little chance they will be fined, much less sent to jail, for their obstinacy.

It has been nearly a half-century since anyone was prosecuted for refusing to answer, and legal analysts say the law is now more of a prompt than a threat backed by punishments.
7/3/18Reuters Trump administration must turn over information about 2020 census question
A federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Donald Trump's administration to hand information about its plan to ask people filling out the 2020 census form whether they are U.S. citizens over to a group of states and cities suing the administration over the question.
7/3/18law.com NY, NJ and Others Can Proceed With Suit Over White House Census Citizenship Question
A Manhattan federal court judge on Tuesday made a preliminary finding that there was "strong" evidence the Trump administration acted in bad faith when deciding to ask about citizenship on the 2020 census in ruling to move forward New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood's lawsuit over the question about citizenship.
6/27/18Fortune The 2020 Census: Do You Know Where the Children Are?
A new KIDS COUNT report on childhood wellbeing shows the consequences of undercounting children in the upcoming decennial census.
6/26/18FedScoop Commerce CIO Turk would like the IC's help securing the 2020 Census
The Department of Commerce CIO said as the agency prepares for the 2020 census, he wants to get help from intelligence agencies to identify cyberthreats to the survey, especially since it will incorporate more technology than ever before, making it a rich target.
6/25/18The Atlantic The Unpredictable Political Effects of 2020 Census Tinkering
Critics say the administration is targeting Hispanics ahead of the population tally —but Trump-backing red states could stand to suffer as much as blue ones.
6/13/18The Hill, Opinion The importance of answering the citizenship question on the census
6/11/18FCW Census IT costs close in on $5 billion
Technology costs for the 2020 population count will reach almost $5 billion, according to an official Census Bureau estimate released June 8 as part of document production for an ongoing lawsuit.
6/10/18National Public Radio Documents Shed Light On Decision To Add Census Citizenship Question
Why did Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the census, approve adding a hotly contested citizenship question to 2020 census forms? Ross has said the driving force is the need for more accurate citizenship data, which he wants to collect during the next once-a-decade headcount of every person in the country as required by the U.S. Constitution.
6/8/18The Hill Lawmakers spar at hearing over census citizenship question
Lawmakers on Friday debated the Trump administration's plans to include a question about citizenship in the 2020 census during a contentious hearing.
6/8/18PBS NewsHour What government documents reveal about the 2020 Census
Amid criticism, the Trump administration is facing lawsuits for adding a question about citizenship to the upcoming 2020 census. And the U.S. Commerce Department, which oversees the census, recently released more than a thousand pages of documents about its decision to include the citizenship question.
6/6/18PBS NewsHour ACLU sues over plans for citizenship question on 2020 census
Civil rights lawyers sued the U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday to try to stop plans to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, calling it an unconstitutional attempt to discriminate against immigrants.
5/31/18The New York Times Lawsuit Says Citizenship Question on Census Targets Minorities for Political Gain
A decision by the Trump administration to add a question on citizenship to the 2020 census discriminates against ethnic minorities for political gain, violating the Constitution, argues a federal lawsuit brought Thursday on behalf of several groups representing minorities.
The lawsuit, filed by 21 organizations and two citizen plaintiffs in United States District Court in Maryland, is the fourth major effort to block a citizenship question from the 2020 tally.
5/15/18Science Magazine More money, more worries: 2020 census plans continue to generate controversy
A trio of events last week on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., left advocates for the 2020 U.S. census both heartened and concerned. Its supporters —including social scientists who are heavy users of the data— hailed prospects of a healthy budget increase for the constitutionally mandated exercise. But they continue to wring their hands over recent actions by President Donald Trump's administration that they say will undermine the accuracy of the upcoming head count.
4/27/18National Public Radio Skipping the 2020 Census Citizenship Question? You'll Still Be Counted
Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.
2/8/18CityLab Mayors to Census: Don't Blow This
Amid growing fears of an underfunded and "sabotaged" count in 2020, a group of city leaders appealed to Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.