2020 Census Quality Indicators:
February 18, 2021 Public Update

The February 4, 2021, update of the 2020 Census Quality Indicators reported on the US Census Bureau’s welcoming the ASA’s efforts to assist in assessing 2020 Census data quality and allowing three ASA member researchers with special sworn status (SSS) to access and apply quality indicators to confidential, internal 2020 Census data. The update also shared that the ASA was free to report on process aspects of this work, with the actual substantive results of researchers’ analyses being subject to the Census Bureau’s disclosure avoidance system review. Additionally, the report also listed the questions the researchers plan to address, summarized the planned analysis, and overviewed the scope of their work.

Over the past two weeks, the three researchers have continued their work, further detailing their analyses and starting to apply them to the 2010 data to serve as one basis of comparison for the 2020 work. The bureau has provided two statistical programmers to support the work and arranged meetings with the disclosure avoidance staff. The researchers are expected to begin analysis of the 2020 data within the next few weeks, timing that is consistent with the recent bureau posts on the complexity of the 2020 decennial census data processing: 2020 Census Processing Updates and Timeline for Releasing Redistricting Data. The researchers will initially focus on quality of state-level level data, then shift to sub-state data quality, consistent with the apportionment data being released before redistricting data.

In March, we expect to be able to provide guidance on when the researchers’ findings will be reported.

The next update is scheduled for March 4. So the researchers can carry out their work objectively and unhindered, please do not contact them directly.

Contact: Steve Pierson, ASA director of science policy, [email protected]