“Census Citizenship Question Won’t Perform Well, New Analysis Shows”


Inclusion of a citizenship question on the 2020 Census is likely to increase the costs and compromise census accuracy, according to a report released today by Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur L. Ross Jr.’s March 26 directive that the Census Bureau add a question on citizenship status to the 2020 Census questionnaire stirred up a storm of controversy. Much of the discussion was about the impact the decision would have on response rates in the 2020 Census.

The new report, Citizenship Question Nonresponse: A Demographic Profile of People Who Do Not Answer the American Community Survey Citizenship Question, examines patterns of nonresponse to the citizenship question in the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). The citizenship status question planned for the 2020 Census is the same as the one currently asked in ACS.


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