Updates on the 2020 Census Quality Indicators

In October 2020, the American Statistical Association released the 2020 Census Quality Indicators, a report written by a task force of census experts with a plan to shed light on the quality, accuracy, and coverage of the 2020 Census counts. The report proposed various measures of quality, accuracy, and coverage spanning the multiple decennial census components to be applied to the 2020 data as it became available.

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Updates on the quality indicator developments will be posted to this page:

  • June 10, 2021: The researchers continue to work closely with the Census Bureau to develop a set of state-level 2020 Census quality indicators. They expect to have the tables necessary for the analysis this month. The task force does not have an updated timeline for the state-level report’s release.

    Looking ahead to the within-state analyses in the second report and the work required to complete it, the task force has added Jonathan Auerbach as a fourth member of the research team. Auerbach is a science policy fellow at the American Statistical Association, where he conducts research on a variety of policy issues, from the US Census to election security. He earned his doctorate in statistics from Columbia University. Previously, he worked at the CUNY Center for Urban Research and for New York City’s legislature, the City Council. He will be joining the faculty of George Mason University as an assistant professor of statistics this fall.

    As a reminder and an update, the biosketches for Paul Biemer, Robert Fay, and Joseph Salvo were included in the February 4 update. Salvo has since retired from his job as chief demographer for New York City and is now affiliated with the National Conference on Citizenship.
  • May 27, 2021: The researchers are working closely with the Census Bureau to develop a set of 2020 Census quality indicators that provide a more complete picture for states. The data necessary for their work is being made available with increasing frequency and volume. To ensure sufficient time for a value-added understanding of the 2020 Census, the timetable will likely need to be adjusted, which members of the task force will clarify in the next update.
  • May 13, 2021: The researchers are working closely with the Census Bureau on the development of a series of tabulations, from which key indicators will be drawn. This involves assessing the conceptual basis of the quality indicators, checking to ensure those indicators have sound empirical support, and constructing and verifying the categories of the tables from which the indicators are derived. A recent push by the Census Bureau to provide more resources for the researchers makes them optimistic they can release a first report in June.
  • April 29, 2021
  • April 15, 2021: The researchers have been provided the first set of their requested quality-indicator data and are examining it to understand its implications. They remain in regular contact with US Census Bureau staff. With the White House news this week that President Biden intends to nominate Robert Santos to be director of the US Census Bureau, Santos resigned from the task force, effective immediately. Ken Prewitt also resigned from the task force following his appointment to be a senior adviser in the office of the census director. The task force has no other updates.
  • April 1, 2021: The researchers are in the early stages of working with the US Census Bureau statistical programmers on the 2020 Census data. They continue to be in regular contact with the bureau disclosure avoidance staff. The likely timing for the first report is still sometime in June. The ASA task force otherwise has no updates.
  • March 18, 2021
  • March 4, 2021: Since the February 18 update, the three researchers have continued their work, refining their planned analyses, applying them to the 2010 data, and reflecting on data quality measurement observations from the February JASON report. This work is being carried out with key Census Bureau staff, particularly to better identify and interpret the most important indicators.
    So the researchers can carry out their work objectively and unhindered, please do not contact them directly.
  • February 18, 2021
  • February 4, 2021