Former Census Director Discusses How to Deal with a Rushed 2020 Census

In a recent interview with the Federal News Network, former Census Director John Thompson called the current census turmoil “the greatest challenge the Census Bureau has faced since I’ve been involved in census-taking,” particularly since the Administration plans to end “nonresponse follow up a month early,” and the Census Bureau will “be very rushed.”

He warned that “it’s going to be very hard to add substantially more staff than they were currently planning to add” to meet the Administration’s new goals for the rushed 2020 Census. “[T]here’s just not much time.”

Facing the “risk that the census will have to rush and that there might be some serious undercounts introduced into the census,” Thompson noted that he and three other former directors recently recommended getting an independent organization to “develop some metrics and measures in advance of seeing the data or in advance of the data being released” that “could be used to assess the fitness for use of the census, and make people either feel comfortable that results were acceptable or give Congress a warning that they’re sub par.”

– “Many unknowns with the 2020 Census.” Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

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