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We welcome your ideas for a better 2030 Census!

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Let’s face it. We’ve all been through a lot these past two years. But during these times, one thing always held through and it holds now: We can overcome challenges when we help each other, when we work together toward a common good. 

That’s why we’re seeking ideas about what to research and how to conduct the 2030 Census. Stated briefly, we want and need your help.

I’ve stressed two points many times in many forums.

First, despite unprecedented challenges, our career staff came together and completed the job we set out to do – count the resident population of the United States in 2020. I’m incredibly proud of their accomplishments. 

Second, the Census Bureau could not have completed the decennial census alone. We needed the public’s help, and the help of our complete count committees, state and local governments, and national and local partners and stakeholders. We adapted our communication and outreach strategies when the pandemic made original plans unworkable. And we all made an incredible discovery: Faced with unthinkable obstacles, by working together we can become nimble, innovative, and adaptive. 

It is very important to receive public input early in the decade and to hear from as many people and communities as possible. Of course, we will keep talking to communities as we progress, but now is the time to get input into our research and our operational design. As we get closer to 2030, we’ll be much more limited in what we can change. Once we have an operational design – in 2024 – we will dedicate our efforts to building and procuring the infrastructure to support, test, and refine it. Now is the best and most impactful time to hear from you.

As with all federal agencies, the Census Bureau must follow a formal process to request comments from the public by posting a notice in the Federal Register (a way the federal government tells the public what it is doing). On August 17, we issued a Federal Register notice seeking comment on the 2030 Census.

We know some people may be unfamiliar with this process, and we want to make it as easy as possible for you to share your ideas and recommendations. We’re especially interested in listening to and learning from communities that aren’t used to engaging with the federal government. In addition to the Federal Register notice site, we’ve set up an email address to receive your comments and to address any questions you have about this effort.

We launched a 2030 Census webpage with information about the process. We will also communicate with communities around the country and make them aware of this comment period at meetings, conferences, and workshops to spread the message about this great opportunity.

What should you say in your comments? We welcome all feedback that can help us provide a better experience responding to the 2030 Census. We’re especially interested in learning what we can improve for 2030 -- and ways we can boost participation in communities of color, rural communities, and tribal lands. The more specific your comments, the more useful they will be for us.

We particularly want to hear your recommendations on these five topics:

  • Reaching and motivating everyone to respond to the census. How can we reach everyone in America and motivate them to respond to the census? How can we reach historically undercounted populations (such as the Hispanic or Latino population, the Black or African American population, the American Indian or Alaska Native population living on a reservation, people who reported being of Some Other Race, and young children)?
  • Technology. What technology could make responding to the census more user-friendly? If we need to collect data in person, how can we use technology to do that effectively?
  • New data sources. The 2020 Census used administrative records (such as data from federal and state governments), third-party sources (data from commercial sources), internal data, and publicly available information to enhance operational efficiency and data quality. What other data sources, or methods of using them, could increase operational efficiency and effectiveness and improve data quality?
  • How we contact respondents. How can we tailor our contact strategies to encourage households to respond to the census on their own? What tools and messages should we use to invite people to respond, and how often should we reach out to each household?
  • Respondent support. How can we support people as they respond—whether online, by phone, by mail, in English or in another language? How can we increase access for people with disabilities?

How can you share your ideas with us? It’s easy! Just visit our 2030 Census webpage, which will take you to the Federal Register notice, or access the notice directly. You can also email us at DCMD.2030.Research@census.gov.  

I am so excited to be part of the decade-long journey working toward the 2030 Census. I can’t thank you enough for coming along and helping us write the story of the 2030 Census – from the design to its future execution. This is deeply important work. It’s a labor of love, and I’m proud that we are formally engaging the public this early in the process. I appreciate your support and enthusiasm and look forward to receiving your ideas.

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