What We Know About the 2020 Census So Far

What We Know About the 2020 Census So Far

Initiated by the founding fathers of our country, the census is a way to count everyone living in the US to ensure they’re properly represented in Congress. Since 1790, a census has been conducted every 10 years, though it has changed slightly over that time and continues to evolve. The next one, which takes place in 2020, is facing the biggest changes yet, and not everyone is happy about them.

Going Digital

For the first time in the history of the US census, it’s going digital. As recently as 2010, information was collected by people filling out paper questionnaires mailed to their homes or canvassers knocking on doors to ask people questions. It cost $12 billion. By giving people the ability to fill out the census questions online, not only is there a higher chance that more people will answer, but it’s expected to cost significantly less.

However, some canvassers will still be used next year. Out of the 327 million people in the United States, about 60 million are expected not to fill the census out online. These will generally be more remote areas where people are less likely to have internet access.

The technology the canvassers will be using is all new as well. Gone are the days of paper and clipboards. Instead, they’ll be using an app that runs on an iPhone 8 to collect information and keep track of which homes they visit. The Census Bureau is hoping this will help reduce the 67 million pages of paper that they used in 2010.

Although some people are very happy with where census technology is headed, not everyone is supportive of it.


Right now, there are five states — Texas, South Dakota, Louisiana, Nebraska and Florida — that have yet to create “complete count committees” to ensure that as many people fill out the census questions as possible.

Why are some states hesitant to promote the census? For a few of them, it’s about the cost. Promoting the census can cost a state millions of dollars that they simply don’t have in the budget. For others, it’s about politics.


Earlier this year, President Trump announced that he wanted to add a new question to the census, asking the person filling it out if they or anyone in their household was an illegal immigrant. As you can imagine, the liberals lost their mind and the lawsuits started rolling in. Eventually, it made its way to the Supreme Court, who declared over the summer that the question could not be added. As a result, some politicians avoided the topic of the census altogether out of fear that it could be seen as them taking a specific side on the immigration question.

Even though the question won’t be included, the Democrats refuse to drop the issue. A couple of days after Thanksgiving, the House Oversight and Reform Committee filed a lawsuit against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Attorney General William Barr because they want information about Trump’s attempt to add the citizenship question to the census.

There’s still plenty of time between now and the official start of the census season in April. It will be interesting to see what additional changes are made and how our representatives handle them.

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