The Census Project Says America has Never Delayed the Census — No Good Reason to Start Now

WASHINGTON – A coalition of census stakeholders said the President can’t delay the 2020 Census.

The Census Project responded to the President’s tweet that he had asked his lawyers “if they can delay the Census, no matter how long,” by pointing to his legal and fiscal responsibilities. Howard Fienberg, co-director of the Census Project, commented:

  • “The Constitution requires a decennial census and the Census Act sets the date of the count as April 1, 2020. The Census Bureau says they must begin printing questionnaires by July 1. If printing is to start on time and as the Census Bureau has contracted, it cannot include a citizenship question.”
  • “Every ten years since 1790, America has successfully conducted a census, despite depressions, world wars, domestic unrest and even a civil war. It is time for the White House to accept the judgment of the Supreme Court, the will of the Congress, and the expert advice of career professionals and keep the 2020 Census on the long and carefully planned schedule.”
  • “Any delay would undermine the Constitutional mandate for fair and equal representation in Congress, be disruptive to markets, hamper community planning, derail business investment, harm economic projections, and weaken the enforcement of civil rights, housing, voting rights and other laws.”

A recommended resource: The Census Bureau’s history of every decennial census


The Census Project ( is a broad-based coalition of national, state, and local organizations that support an inclusive and accurate 2020 Census and American Community Survey (ACS) (the modern version of the census “long form”). Its member organizations, representing the private, public, non-profit, and academic sectors, rely on objective data that the Census Bureau produces to inform evidence-based investment, policy and planning decisions.