2020 Census Quality Indicators:
March 18, 2021, Public Update

The two statistical programmers whom the Census Bureau provided to assist Biemer, Fay, and Salvo now have access to key operational data from the 2020 Census and have begun doing the analyses requested by the three researchers. Biemer, Fay, and Salvo do not have—and do not need—direct access to the data. This arrangement is due to the especially strict protections around the ultimate reporting of the apportionment data, whereby no one outside the bureau will have access to the apportionment counts until they are publicly released.

The 2020 Census Quality Indicators Task Force (TF) expected the three researchers to have access to the data earlier than this week, but understands the complex process hurdles and limited bandwidths that had to be surmounted. TF representatives spoke with bureau officials regarding the timing and nature of the access and will continue to monitor both.

The TF expects to release two reports, one focusing on state-level data and one on smaller geographies. With the analyses of the 2020 data just beginning this week, the likely timing for the first report is sometime in June. The second report would be released closer to the release of the redistricting data, scheduled for September.

The researchers will work with their Census Bureau counterparts to develop a timeline of milestones to realize a June release of the first report.

The TF reminds that the researchers’ roles are to carry out their analysis and report their findings to the ASA for subsequent public distribution, with the goal of providing important information about the quality of the 2020 Census. They will not make judgments about the data’s fitness for use.

So the researchers can carry out their work objectively and unhindered, please do not contact them directly.

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