At a macro level, the 2010 Census appeared to be close to perfect. The Census Bureau reported a net national overcount of 0.01% in 2010, a number not statistically different from zero. Similarly, no state had a statistically significant net undercount, according to Census Bureau estimates. But the apparent precision can be misleading and doesn’t tell the whole story. This Fact Sheet discusses what we know about census accuracy and why it matters to funders and their grantees.
In January 2017, a new President and a new Congress will take the nation’s federal governing reins. The implications of the 2016 elections for public policy are vast and largely unknown. But there are a few things we know for certain: The Trump Administration will oversee the 2020 Census, and the new Administration and 115th Congress are positioned to influence key policy decisions affecting the next constitutionally required population count and related American Community Survey (ACS). We hope the broad, consequential nature of these decisions will spur funders to support an accurate 2020 Census and robust ACS through investments in policy work and get-out-the-count campaigns. Here are the major issues to watch in the coming months.
Get up to speed on public opinion research on the Census including best practices for talking about the Census and the American Community Survey (ACS), messages that work best for different demographic groups, and other data on the Census and ACS.
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A timeline for grantmakers interested in supporting a fair and accurate 2020 Census.
With the decennial census just a few years away, a number of key policy decisions are being made that will determine whether we have a fair and accurate census. This framework provides advocacy strategies for policies that support a full enumeration and for protection of the American Community Survey (ACS).
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Over the coming year, funders should monitor final U.S. Office of Management and Budget and Census Bureau decisions on the collection of race and ethnicity data, to help ensure that the 2020 Census collects accurate, useful information to guide their activities for the next decade and beyond.
When Americans fill out their 2020 Census forms, they will have more choices for identifying their race, ethnicity, and national origin than ever before. It is almost a cliché: we are an increasingly diverse nation — a factor that permeated much of the 2016 election dialogue. No wonder, then, that the census questions on race and ethnicity generate more interest, scrutiny, criticism, and debate than any others.
Like many other institutions in the United States, foundations rely on census data to craft policies, plan initiatives, deliver services and promote economic and social justice. The Democracy Funders Collaborative Census Subgroup has developed two resources to help ensure a fair and accurate census as required by the U.S. Constitution.
Thirty-five philanthropic institutions signed a letter of public comment urging the Census Bureau to count incarcerated persons at their home residence in the 2020 Census, instead of at the prison facility in which they are housed on Census Day.
FCCP’s annual convening in St. Paul last month was inspiring, educational and productive for many reasons. One highlight was a renewed focus on a critical component of strong democratic institutions and civic engagement: the decennial census.