March 28, 2017 — The U.S. Census Bureau delivered its planned subjects for the 2020 Census to Congress, which include gender, age, race, ethnicity, relationship and homeownership status.
By law, the Census Bureau must deliver decennial census subjects to Congress three years before Census Day, with the next one occurring April 1, 2020. The subjects represent the necessary balance between the need for data and the Census Bureau’s commitment to reduce the time it takes to complete the form. By law, the actual questions that will appear on the 2020 Census questionnaire must be submitted to Congress by March 31, 2018.
“Our goal is a complete and accurate census,” Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson said. “In planning for the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau has focused on improving its address list by using imagery, finding ways to increase household self-response, leveraging resources inside and outside the government, and making it easier and more efficient for census takers to complete their work. Furthermore, for the first time ever, the decennial will offer an online response option with the ultimate goal of improving question design and data quality while addressing community concerns.”
The Census Bureau also submitted to Congress its planned subjects for the American Community Survey — an annual survey that provides key socio-economic and housing statistics about the nation’s rapidly changing population every year, rather than once a decade with the “long form.” The American Community Survey, which started in 2005, provides data that helps all levels of government, community organizations and businesses make informed decisions.
Census Bureau data directly affect how more than $400 billion per year in federal and state funding are allocated to local, state and tribal governments. The data are also vital to other planning decisions, such as emergency preparedness and disaster recovery.
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