April 2022 Census Project Update

Appropriations Update

Following the finalization of Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations and the release of the President’s Budget last month, The Census Project released our funding recommendation for the U.S. Census Bureau in FY 2023.

The Census Project recommended $2 billion for the Census Bureau in FY 2023 — a $495 million increase over the President’s budget request and $646 million over the FY 2022 enacted level.

We supported giving the Bureau “greater authority for multi-year funding, beginning in FY 2023, and funds to strengthen the innovations necessary to consolidate and integrate legacy surveys and systems into a new, more nimble data collection and dissemination model, to enhance the American Community Survey (ACS), and to pursue other initiatives outlined in the Administration’s FY 2030 budget submission. Additional funding, above the Administration’s request, is necessary for the agency to not only realize the full potential of several initiatives outlined in the Census Bureau’s FY 2023 Congressional Justification, but also to pursue other priorities identified by census stakeholders.”

On April 28, 2022, on behalf of The Census Project, 80 national, state, and local stakeholders sent a letter to Congressional appropriators, urging them to support our FY 2023 funding request. The letter called attention to the critical need for new investments, including additional ones in the American Community Survey (ACS) and Population Estimates.

If your organization is interested in submitting written testimony in support of census funding to the House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittees, the House has issued instructions and its deadline is May 13. The Senate has followed suit and their deadline is May 27.

Policy Update

Interim Report from the National Academies on 2020 Census Quality

The Academies’ “Understanding the Quality of the 2020 Census Interim Report” goes into “concepts of error and quality in the decennial census as prelude to the panel’s forthcoming fuller assessment of 2020 Census data, process measures, and quality metrics.”

Rutgers Workshop on the Analysis of Census Noisy Measurement Files and Differential Privacy

A Rutgers University workshop on April 28-29, 2022 (online and in New Jersey) brought together research experts from many domains of social sciences, demography, public policy, statistics, and computer science to address key challenges in the use of the differentially private Census noisy measurement files to support social research and policy decisions.

Commerce Department Inspector General Investigating 2020 Census Paid Ad Campaign

The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Commerce informed Census Director Robert Santos on March 31, 2022, that it is “initiating an audit of the U.S. Census Bureau’s oversight of the integrated communications contract.” The IG aims to “determine whether the Bureau effectively managed selected task orders related to paid advertising for the 2020 Census integrated communications contract to ensure desired outcomes were achieved.”

ACS 2022 Content Test

The Census Bureau submitted an information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting approval to conduct the 2022 Content Test for the American Community Survey (ACS). It will be a field test of the wording, format, and placement of select revised questions and proposed new questions.

In our recent report, ACS: America’s Data at Risk, we concluded that the Bureau could consider enhancing “the utility of ACS data” by adding “new questions in two additional areas”: (1) “parental place of birth”; and (2) “sexual and gender minority (SGM) populations.” Using the “combined race/ethnicity question—with the addition of a MENA category— that were proposed and tested by the Census Bureau for the 2020 Census could also improve data quality.”

New Report on Undercount of Young Children in 2020 Census and Comparison to 2010

A new report on the undercount of young children in the 2020 Census from Deborah H. Griffin and William P. O’Hare also provides a comparison between 2010 and 2020 Census efforts in counting young children. It “provides an overview of the research and new activities related to the net undercount of young children that occurred as planning for the 2020 Census began,” including “a review of new activity within the Census Bureau, mobilization of researchers and advocates on this issue outside the Census Bureau, and how the Census Bureau and the child advocacy community worked together on this problem.”

How Gaps in Census/ACS Response Lead to Inequitable Allocation of Funding

A Standard Deviations blog from Edward Kissam briefly reviewed “the evidence suggesting that a combination of long-term “structural” limitations in Census Bureau methodology and the distinctive pandemic-related circumstances that likely led to systematic differential undercount in hard-to-count neighborhoods and communities in 2020 may have seriously impaired data quality for the coming decade.”

How Administrative Data Played into the 2020 Census

As administrative data – datasets collected by government agencies and commercial entities typically as a byproduct of nonstatistical activities, such as delivering mail – rises in importance in Census Bureau survey measurement, the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality has released a new report on its use in the 2020 Census.

Census Bureau News

The Census Bureau announced revised release dates for the next set of 2020 Census data products, starting with the release of the Demographic Profile and the Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) in May 2023. Additionally, data previously planned for inclusion in the Detailed Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (Detailed DHC) will now be released as three separate products, with the first product scheduled for release in August 2023 and the schedules for the remaining products still being determined.

The Bureau has appointed seven new members to its Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC). The panel provides recommendations on the design, operation and implementation of Census Bureau programs. New members will serve a 3-year term.

The Census Bureau announced the appointment of Ditas Katague as associate director of communications, responsible for leading internal and external communications activities of the nation’s largest statistical agency. This includes oversight of marketing, public affairs, congressional and intergovernmental affairs, partner engagement and media relations.

The Bureau launched its latest data explorer tool, My Community Explorer (MCE), an interactive map-based tool that highlights demographic and socioeconomic data that measure inequality and can help inform data-based solutions.

In part 4 of a series, a Census Bureau blog explored two scenarios for export shipments between the U.S. and Puerto Rico and identify the U.S. Principal Party in Interest (USPPI).

The U.S. Census Bureau’s current daily podcast Profile America Audio will come to an end after 25 years on April 30.

Census Bureau Data Releases

The U.S. Census Bureau released a downloadable file containing estimates of the nation’s resident population by sex and single year of age for July 1, 2021. In the coming months, it will release additional  population estimates for cities and towns, as well as national, state and county population estimates by age, sex, race and Hispanic origin.

The Bureau released new data from Phase 8 of the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) on April 7, April 14, and April 21, 2022.

The Census Bureau released new data from phase 3.4 of the experimental Household Pulse Survey (HPS) April 20.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2020 County Business Patterns (CBP), an annual series of statistics that provides subnational economic data by industry.

New data from the 2021 Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections was released by the Census Bureau.

The Bureau released new Business Formation Statistics (BFS) for March 2022.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the 2022 Capital Spending Report: U.S. Capital Spending Patterns 2011–2020. Data in this report are from the Census Bureau’s 2011 to 2020 Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES), which collected information about nonfarm U.S. business expenditures on new and used structures and equipment. It also examines investment shares over time. The Capital Spending Report series covers spending by two-digit North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) industry sectors in a 10-year moving window ending in 2020, the most recent ACES reference year.

News You Can Use

Below are several articles posted on The Census Project home page in April 2022.  For a complete listing, go to: https://thecensusproject.org/recent-media/.

Census changes help correct historic undercount of Wisconsin’s Indigenous population
Press Times
April 28, 2022

Next Release of 2020 Census Data Postponed Until Next Year
Associated Press
April 27, 2022

Census Bureau director wants to ramp up outreach to undercounted groups
April 26, 2022

The U.S. Census is a mess. He’s fixing that
April 22, 2022

Court rules N.Y. Democrats gerrymandered congressional map
Associated Press
April 22, 2022

The 2020 Census Suggests That People Live Underwater. There’s a Reason.
The New York Times
April 21, 2022

Wyoming is only state so far to change number of state legislators after redistricting
April 15, 2022

The Census Is Broken. Can AI Fix It?
April 8, 2022

The Census Missed Some Folks. These Cities Want Them Counted.
April 4, 2022

America in 1950: U.S. releases gold mine of Census data after 72-year waiting period
April 1, 2022

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