In March 2020, the United States will conduct its decennial census. An accurate count is essential for distribution of federal services and the allocation of representatives in Congress. It also serves as a resource for public and private sector analysts as they confront our nation’s most pressing issues.
Some of the largest programs that rely on Census data include: Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicare Part B (supplemental medical insurance) among others. Without an accurate count, states can miss out on vital federal funds.
Despite its importance, the Census faces a barrage of challenges this time around. On the surface, the cost of counting households has increased while response rates have decreased.
The census also faces a trend of staffing constraints.
This special series will delve into the importance of the census and the current barriers it faces to ensure that all Americans, regardless of income, region, or citizenship status gain the representation they deserve.
A complete list of the pieces included in the series can be found below, in order of publication.
- Why an Accurate 2020 Census Matters: Money, Power and Truth by Kyla Fullenwider, a Fellow at the Shorenstein Center and previously the first Chief Innovation Officer of the U.S. Census Bureau.
- How the Digital Divide Could Affect the Accuracy of the 2020 Census by Amy Robinson, an MPP at the Kennedy School and a JD at Harvard Law School.
- The 2020 Census: Facing a ‘perfect storm? by Terri Ann Lowenthal, a consultant to civil rights organizations, state and local governments, and many other stakeholders on “all things census.”
- The Benefits of the Census Bureau: A Research Perspective by Nick Buffie, an MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School.
- Lessons for the US from Australia’s #censusfail by Izzy Borshoff, an MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School and former advisor in the Australian Prime Minister’s Department.
- How the Citizenship Question Makes Vulnerable Populations Less Likely to be Counted by Maggie Kadifa, conducting an interview with Esperanza Guevara of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights.