• J. Phillip Tavernier

The Right and Wrong Way to Census

The United States Census Bureau announced it would end its efforts to count the number of people living in the United States on September 30, a month earlier than the adjusted October 31st deadline that resulted from the Coronavirus pandemic. Originally the Census counters (enumerators) were scheduled to go out and knock on the doors of households that did not self-respond by phone, mail, or online in May. Of course, a world-wide pandemic came about, the crash of the economy, massive unemployment, the shutting down of countless businesses, the civil unrest in the streets stemming from the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, and the world is a totally different place.


Despite all that has changed in such a short period of time, the fact that the Census determines how the $1 trillion-dollar federal budget is decided has not changed. The fact that the Census determines the number of Congress representatives a state gets hasn’t changed either. Those who stand to lose the most are those who seem to be affected the most by the collapse of the economy and the increasing tensions in America. On the flip side, it seems as though the ones who stand to gain from an undercount are continuously trying to disrupt the census-counting process.



Historically, the hardest-to-reach households and undercounted populations included minorities, undocumented immigrants, rural residents, and low-income households. A big worry is that undercounting will be greater than it has been in past censuses.


Recently, The Trump administration announced a new order to exclude undocumented residents from the 2020 census tally now underway. According to ScienceMag.org “researchers worry the bureau’s effort to satisfy the president’s wishes… is a task no statistical agency can carry out.” Something isn’t right, in the words of Keith Sweat.


There is so much at take in this year that will determine the fate of every federal dollar for the next 10 years. By 2030, the number will jump from being $10 trillion to $20 trillion dollars. We can’t afford to sit on the sideline. If you haven’t completed your Census, go to my2020Census.gov or call for English (844) 330-2020, Spanish (844) 468-2020 or Haitian Creole (844) 477-2020. Help get the word out.


We can make a difference. Take the Census before August 30, 2020.

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