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Posted on: August 9, 2020

Census Bureau Moves to Cut Data Collection Phase Short

Late last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released information on a number of steps being taken to shorten the time for field data collection, to the end of September, and to provide reapportionment data to the Congress by the end of the year. Until this announcement, the Bureau had been expected to continue field operations through the month of October.

Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of our federal partner, the National League of Cities, said, ‘The shortening of census non-response follow up threatens to create an undercount for communities of color, immigrants, and hard-to-count communities. We need to have an accurate census to ensure the $1.5 trillion in federal spending over the next decade is allocated fairly and appropriately.’

The Bureau’s updated plan includes enumerator awards and the hiring of more employees to accelerate the completion of data collection and reapportionment counts by those deadlines. Bureau Director Steven Dillingham stated, “The Census Bureau continues its work on meeting the requirements of Executive Order 13880 issued July 11, 2019, and the Presidential Memorandum issued July 21, 2020. A team of experts are examining methodologies and options to be employed for this purpose. The collection and use of pertinent administrative data continues.”

Executive Order 13880 of July 11, 2019, instructed federal executive departments and agencies to share information with the Census Bureau to allow the Bureau to obtain accurate data on the number of citizens, non-citizens, and undocumented individuals in the country. The Memorandum of July 21, 2020, directs the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who supervises the Bureau, to eliminate undocumented persons from the counts to be provided to Congress for the purpose of the reapportionment, among the states, of seats in the House of Representatives.

Several lawsuits, challenging the Memorandum have been filed.

Please continue to use all of your communications platforms to engage all in your municipality to respond. Please direct anyone who has not yet responded to United States 2020 Census.

New Jersey’s response rate stands at 65%, 21st in the country. Congratulations to our Top Ten responders: Glen Rock (88.3%); Berkeley Heights (85.1%); Oradell (84.9%); Mountain Lakes (84.6%); Washington Township – Bergen (84.4%); Glen Ridge (84.3%); Cranbury (83.6%); River Edge (82.9%); Waldwick (82.5%); and Mansfield Township – Burlington (82.5%). Your municipality’s rate is available at the U.S. Census Bureau Rankings Dashboard.

Contact: Jon Moran, Senior Legislative Analyst, jmoran@njlm.org, 609-695-3481 x121.

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