Assessing threats to the 2020 Census’s accuracy

July 5, 2019

Dear Changemakers,

Last week, the Supreme Court barred a question about citizenship on the 2020 Census, though it seems the issue is far from resolved. My colleagues at the Urban Institute have produced rich data and evidence-based insights over the past year that explain what’s at stake. I’m deeply proud of this ongoing body of work, not just for its rigor and timeliness, but also because it exemplifies how Urban makes research available and accessible to inform wide audiences about critical issues facing our country.

Led by senior research associate Diana Elliott and vice president and chief methodologist Rob Santos, our decennial census work explains why a fair and accurate count is vital to our democracy, assesses how different factors, including the citizenship question, could alter the count, examines what these factors would mean for the well-being of communities, and more.

From the moment the US Department of Justice announced its plans for a new citizenship question, our experts have offered windows into the census, including by unpacking which census numbers will affect the ability of a neighborhood, city, county, and state to get its fair share of congressional representation and funding sources. And we recently designed an easy-to-navigate interactive feature that projects who is at risk of being miscounted under three risk scenarios. So far, that feature has garnered more than 5,000 page views, and our findings have been cited numerous times over by media nationwide.

The questions surrounding the 2020 Census continue. We will track this important issue, and we hope you’ll stay with us as we do.

Warmly,
Sarah