From an article written by Robert L. Santos, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau and published the the Bureau’s Blog:
Has anyone ever invited you to sit down and help them design a new home or a renovation project? Or have you ever had a chance to provide your ideas before a plan was developed, instead of just reacting to a fully drafted plan? That would put you in a position to make important contributions, ones based on your own life experience, creativity and skills.
Well, it is exactly this unique opportunity that the U.S. Census Bureau is offering partners, stakeholders and the public. (That means you!)
In case you missed my blog post a few weeks ago, for the first time ever, the Census Bureau is seeking your ideas for the planning and design of the decennial census. Our August 17, 2022 Federal Register Notice asks for your input on our preliminary research, specifically as it relates to the planning and design of the 2030 Census. We have already received over 1500 idea submissions from the public on ways to enhance and improve the 2030 Census, but it’s not too late to participate.
As you may suspect, each decennial census takes many years of planning and preparation. In 2019, we convened a small Early Planning Team to develop guiding principles and high-level program assumptions for the 2030 Census. We need to start early to consider a research agenda motivated by “lessons learned” from past censuses here in the U.S., and from the experiences of our international colleagues conducting censuses in other countries.
We also continue to learn from the close-out of our 2020 Census operations, as well as from continuing assessments of 2020 Census data quality. This includes continuing review of 2020 Census operational quality metrics, Demographic Analysis and Post-Enumeration Survey results, and seeking reviews from independent outside experts.
To illustrate, some of the key lessons that we learned thus far are:
Historically undercounted populations such as children, and racial and ethnic minorities (Hispanics, Blacks, American Indians living on reservations, immigrants) continue to be difficult to count, and the pandemic only exacerbated the challenge. Moreover, the level of success we were able to obtain was in large part due to our dedicated national, state and local community partners who worked tirelessly alongside us.
We must do a better job enumerating people residing in group quarters (such as college or university student housing, correctional facilities, nursing facilities, military quarters, and shelters for people experiencing homelessness). We seek a better list of group quarters facilities, as well as more partnerships with those facilities and organizations associated with them.
We need to have a quicker, more efficient response processing operation. Waiting until the end of data collection hinders ability to address quality issues – not to mention that it delays the release of data products.
We recognize the value of our partner and stakeholder communities. We realize you – the public – can offer much knowledge and insight to our planning process to make it even better. That is why we are actively seeking your input: we need diverse voices and perspectives to make the 2030 Census the best it can be.
The ideas and feedback we seek from you now coincides with our Design Selection Phase of the 2030 Census. This phase includes the information gathering, review, and brainstorming that will inform a basic design for the census. The final milestone associated with the Design Selection Phase is the initial 2030 Census Operational Plan, which is scheduled for release at the end of 2024.
We especially welcome the public’s feedback on how to improve people’s experience when they participate in the census. This input will help inform our decisions for 2030, including our research, testing and design. Additionally, the public’s input will help us ensure everyone – including historically undercounted populations – is counted.
Please spread the word and encourage others to share their input with us, too. We’re trying to engage as many people as possible to inform the Census Bureau’s decisions on the 2030 Census operational design. We need your ideas!
The final day for submitting your input is November 15, 2022. You can respond by:
Emailing your comments to DCMD.2030.Research@census.gov, or
Online via the Federal Register Notice (available on our website at Census.gov/2030census).
Consistent with our commitment to transparency, we will summarize and share the input we receive publicly, and you will see how it helped develop our 2030 Census operational design as well as our 2030 Census scientific research plans.