ASA Applauds Census Bureau Request for Data Delivery Extension

Recently, the US Census Bureau submitted a request to Congress for a 120-day extension of the legal deadline for delivering decennial census data to the president and states in consideration of necessary adjustments due to COVID-19. This would allow the Census Bureau to continue collecting data until October 31, 2020; report final population counts to the president on April 30, 2021; and report redistricting information to the states by July 31, 2021. The American Statistical Association released the following statement from President-elect Robert Santos:

We applaud the request to Congress to provide the US Census Bureau an additional 120 days to deliver the final apportionment counts and the redistricting data. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the decennial census operations in multiple ways and will continue to do so for the especially critical phase of reaching the households who have not yet replied. The decennial census is vital to innumerable aspects of our society, governance, and economy, yet we should also not risk the health of the field representatives or data accuracy and fairness in order to meet the original timeline. We urge Congress to promptly authorize the extension.

Additionally, in a joint opinion piece, “Census 2020: It’s Not Just the Government’s Job to Ensure We’re All Counted,” ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein and American Association for Public Opinion Research President Nora Cate Schaeffer urged all US households to promptly respond to the census online, by phone, or by mail.