Over 100 Million Americans Uncounted in Current Census
As of today, more than one-third of Americans are unaccounted for in the 2020 decennial U.S. Census. If they remain uncounted, we will not know who they are (their demographics) and where they live. The data your business relies on to understand U.S. consumers and your customer base is at risk. Even worse, the foundations of democracy and stability that allow U.S. businesses to thrive are at risk.
There are politicians trying to stop the Census Bureau from counting those 100+ million people. Officially, the U.S. population may drop from 328 million in 2019 to 200 million in 2020. It is grotesque and absurd.
All major industry groups and business associations in marketing research (and many other industries) are mobilizing to thwart this effort, and have respectfully requested our help in doing so.
Below, I am sharing three items worth reviewing and sharing with others:
1. An official statement and advocacy position from the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) released two days ago.
2. AAPOR’s call to action and request for help.
3. A partial listing of other national organizations who are coordinating legal and advocacy efforts with the Insights Association to ensure an accurate 2020 Census.
There is so much at stake, and it truly is at risk.
1. AAPOR Statement Regarding the 2020 Census (August 5, 2020)
The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) urges the U.S. Census Bureau to reconsider its August 3, 2020, decision to end data collection for the decennial Census a full month earlier, on September 30, 2020. The original data-collection end date of October 31, 2020, allowed for additional time needed to collect crucial data during the coronavirus outbreak. Given the significant efforts that will be necessary to count hard-to-reach populations during a pandemic, two months is insufficient time to complete the conducting of a complete and accurate 2020 Census.
According to the Bureau itself, as of today, about four in 10 households in the U.S. still have not responded to the 2020 Census. Cutting short the time allowed for responding increases the risk of a substantial undercount, a critical error that will damage the information infrastructure of the nation for at least a decade.
A complete and accurate Census is essential to a well-functioning society. The United States uses the decennial census in myriad ways, including determining the number of congressional seats and electoral votes each state gets as well as guiding hundreds of billions of dollars of federal funding to states and communities. Survey professionals across federal, state and local governments as well as academic and industry professionals rely on accurate Census data to establish appropriate sampling and analysis of countless surveys and research studies annually.
In addition, AAPOR supports extending the legal deadline for delivering census data to the President and the states, as delineated by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham in their April 2020 operational response to the coronavirus outbreak, 2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19.
AAPOR further urges all residents of the United States to cooperate with and respond to the 2020 Census in the spirit of the public good and to strengthen our communities. We all benefit from an accurate, nonpartisan census of our nation.
2. AAPOR’s Call to Action and Request for Help
Yesterday, AAPOR issued a statement regarding the 2020 Census.
Today, we are asking you to contact your senators and urge them to approve the provisions that the House passed to extend the 2020 Census reporting deadlines. The longer timeframe is needed to avoid compromising enumeration, follow-up, data review, processing, and tabulation.
You can find contact information for your senators here.
As you know, we all rely on the information infrastructure that the Census provides. Here is additional information about the current situation:
- The House included language that would authorize a four-month extension of the Census statutory deadlines in their latest COVID relief package. The Senate should do the same.
- If there is no extension, nonresponse follow-up will be curtailed, and efforts to reach those who have not yet participated—including the hardest to reach—will be shortened.
- The current response rate to the Census so far is the lowest ever, making the nonresponse follow-up critically important.
Maintaining the quality of the Census during a pandemic will take time and effort. We need the best information we can have for the next decade.
AAPOR Executive Council
3. Partial Listing of Organizations Working with the Insights Association to Advocate for an Accurate 2020 Census
Academic Pediatric Association
African American Health Alliance
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Anthropological Association
American Association of University Women (AAUW)
American Educational Research Association
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
American Library Association
American Pediatric Society
American Planning Association
American Sociological Association
American Statistical Association
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Arab American Institute (AAI)
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO (APALA)
Association of Medical School Pediatric Department Chairs
Association of Population Centers
Association of Public Data Users (APDU)
Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
Campaign Legal Center
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Council for Community and Economic Research
Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics
Decision Demographics, LLC
Economic Policy Institute
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
Fair Count Inc.
Free Government Information
Government Information Watch
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
League of Women Voters of the United States
Maxfield Research and Consulting LLC
Mi Familia Vota Education Fund
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)
NALEO Educational Fund
National Association for Business Economics
National Association of Black County Officials (NABCO)
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of REALTORS®
National Association of Regional Councils
National Association of Towns and Townships
National Coalition for Literacy
National Community Action Partnership
National Community Development Association
National Disability Rights Network
National Education Association
National Federation of Filipino American Associations
National League of Cities
National Organization of Black County Officials (NOBCO)
National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women
National Redistricting Foundation
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Pediatric Policy Council
Population Association of America
Prison Policy Initiative
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Shepherding the Next Generation
SHK Global Health
Society for Pediatric Research
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC)
The Gerontological Society of America
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The National Association for Bilingual Education
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
Union for Reform Judaism
Urban and Regional Information Systems Association
Voices for Progress
William C. Velasquez Institute
Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network
Joe Hopper, Ph.D.