July 2021 Census Project Update

Appropriations Update

On July 15, the House Appropriations Committee approved its version of the Fiscal Year 2022 Commerce Justice Science (CJS) appropriations bill meeting the Biden Administration’s request for $1,442,401,000 for the Census Bureau. It includes $309,865,000 for Current Surveys and Programs ($21,462,000 above the FY 2021 enacted amount) and $1,132,537,000 for Periodic Censuses and Programs ($314,296,000 above the FY 2021 enacted level). A report accompanying the measure includes provisions on several issues important to census stakeholders including disclosure avoidance, race and ethnicity data collection and reporting improvements, and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The Census Project posted a blog with details about the funding level and all items in the accompanying report.

In response to the House mark, The Census Project issued a press release acknowledging the House bill and urging the Senate to support $2 billion for the Census Bureau in FY 2022—a level recommended by The Census Project and endorsed by over one third of U.S. Senators.  

On July 30, the U.S. House of Representatives adjourned for its August district work period without bringing the CJS funding measure to the House floor for consideration. Democratic leaders hope the chamber will consider the CJS bill when they reconvene in early September. At press time, it is not known when the Senate will consider its version of the FY 2022 CJS bill.

Policy Update

Commerce Inspector General Releases Report on Ross Allegations

On July 6, the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Commerce released results of the office’s investigation into allegations against former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that he misrepresented the origins of the citizenship question proposed to be added to the 2020 Census. A blog posted by The Census Project provides additional details regarding the allegations and links to the final report.

U.S. Senators Introduce Legislation Addressing Metropolitan Statistical Areas

In a July 7 blog, The Census Project reported that U.S. Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Steve Daines (R-MT) had introduced the Metropolitan Statistical Area Stabilization Act (S. 1431). The bill would prohibit the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) from raising “the minimum urban area population to qualify a metropolitan statistical area from 50,000.” The bill has been referred to the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee as well as the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for further consideration.

2020 Census Quality Indicators

On July 8 and 22, The Census Project posted updates prepared by the American Statistical Association regarding the status of the 2020 Census Quality Indicators efforts.

Key Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Santos Nomination

On July 15, the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of Robert L. Santos to be the next Director of the U.S. Census Bureau. A video of the hearing as well as written testimony are posted on the committee’s home page. The Committee is expected to vote on advancing Mr. Santos’ nomination before the Senate adjourns for its August district work period.

Prior to the hearing, three major organizational sign-on letters were sent to the committee. The letters were organized and sent by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NALEO, and the American Statistical Association.

Census Bureau Issues Solicitations for CSAC and NAC

On July 23 and 27, the Census Bureau published notices in the Federal Register soliciting nominations to fill eight vacancies on the National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic, and Other Populations (NAC) and six vacancies on the Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC), respectively. Nominations for both NAC and CSAC are due on or before September 30.

Census Director addresses redistricting data expectations

Acting Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin blogged about the upcoming release of redistricting data on July 28, setting expectations for the quality of the data, timing of its release, and how it will look with the application of differential privacy.

Census Bureau News

For plaintiffs in the case of National Urban League et.al.v Gina Raimondo, the Census Bureau held a briefing on July 2.

On July 6, 13, 20, and 27, the Census Bureau paid temporary workers.

Data from the Small Business Pulse Survey were released on July 8, 15, and 22.

The Household Pulse Survey released results on July 14 and announced the beginning of data collection for the survey’s phase 3.2 on July 21.

On July 29, the Census Bureau released a statement outlining the differences between 2020 census and ACS 1-year estimates.

Key dates for release of 2020 Census redistricting data, the 2020 income, poverty, and health insurance coverage statistics were announced on July 29.

On July 29, the Census Bureau announced it will not release its standard 1-year estimates form the 2020 American Community Survey due to the effects of COVID-19 on the survey’s data collection efforts.

Census Bureau Data Releases

In a July 28 press release, the Census Bureau reported 2019 annual capital expenditures for robotic equipment.

On July 27, the Census Bureau released Vintage 2020 evaluation estimates updated to include April 1, 2020, resident population and housing unit estimates.

A special tabulation of exporting firms by demographic characteristics of employer businesses was released on July 22.

News You Can Use

Below are several articles posted on The Census Project home page in July 2021. For a complete listing, go to: https://thecensusproject.org/recent-media/.

Census Bureau to skip annual data release because of pandemic impact
The Washington Post
July 29, 2021

Facing Census Delay, Group Withdraws Request for Records
Associated Press
July 28, 2021

Census data coming soon, feds reiterate to Ohio officials eying redistricting deadlines
July 26, 2021

Call for greater US census funding
July 22, 2021

Ex-Iowa House speaker sues Census Bureau, saying it won’t turn over communications about ‘synthetic data’
Des Moines Register
July 22, 2021

US census director nominee says Bureau needs to build trust
July 21, 2021

Biden Is Reviving An Effort To Change How The Census Asks About Race And Ethnicity
July 19, 2021

Justice Department won’t prosecute Wilbur Ross for misleading Congress about attempted 2020 census change
July 19, 2021

Census nominee open to post-COVID telework in bid to improve workforce morale
Federal News Network
July 15, 2021

Lawmakers will draw new congressional maps. How will it impact Kansas’ 2nd District
The Kansas City Star
July 13, 2021

Audio: Census data shows Missouri is slow growth state
July 6, 2021

Census takers worry that apartment renters were undercounted
Associated Press
July 5, 2021

Yes, the 2020 census has been completed, but full redistricting data hasn’t been released
July 2, 2021