ASA Speaks Up for Integrity of 2020 Census, Scientific Process

With the 2020 Census just over a year away, the ASA’s leadership continues to voice concerns about the late-stage addition of the citizenship question to the decennial questionnaire.

In an op-ed to the Washington Post published March 13, ASA Executive Director Ron Wasserstein writes that the addition of the question hasn’t followed the government’s own policies and procedures. Specifically, the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that, along with the standards derived from it, demand such questions be well-tested in advance. The Information Quality Act (IQA) also requires the government act responsibly to ensure data are accurate and reliable.

Wasserstein concluded his piece with this statement: “Failing to pretest, and deliberately risking data quality, is statistical malpractice.”

The ASA elaborated on the late-stage addition of the citizenship question being noncompliant with the PRA, IQA, and Title 13 of US Code—citing six deficiencies—in its  March 15 remarks to an Office of Management and Budget call for comments on the US Census.

More ASA coverage on 2020 Census: