Editor’s Corner

Howdy everyone! It is 2020 and Census Day is April 1, 2020. There are many changes with the Census this year. Census 2020 will be the first census that people can respond to online. Sometimes people are not sure where to be counted (for example people in shelters and college students) and the Census Bureau has been working on this issue since 2015 (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/about/residence-rule.html). For more information check out the 2020 Census Operational Plan—https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/2020-census/planning-management/planning-docs/operational-plan.html.

The Census Bureau has also recently redesigned their website, and since July 2019 has been releasing data in https://data.census.gov. The old database, American FactFinder (AFF) will remain as an “archive” system for accessing historical data until spring 2020.

The Census Bureau is promoting census education through the Census Academy—https://www.census.gov/academy—a new online training resource with many videos about accessing census data for all skill levels. They include courses using census data with R and Excel, Data Gems for quick tips and tricks, and webinars covering topics like introduction to the American Community Survey and how to access the 2017 Economic Census on data.census.gov. The Census Bureau can also send trainers to conduct a workshop for your patrons. To request a data expert for a workshop contact census.askdata@census.gov.

Fact Sheets are available, covering everything from Census Safety and Security to Address Canvassing to Confidentiality in multiple languages. https://www.census.gov/library/fact-sheets.html. Also check out the Infographics and Visualizations—https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations.html.

Unfortunately this census has also had some controversy, the most significant was the Trump administration’s effort to add a citizenship question. The Supreme Court said that the administration did not have an adequate reason for the question, so Trump issued Executive Order 13880, Collecting Information about Citizenship Status in Connection with the Decennial Census. The Department of Homeland Security announced in December 2019 it is providing the Census Bureau with records to comply with the Order.1

It will be interesting to see if responding online improves responses, or creates unexpected issues, and hopefully there will be more news about the compliance with EO 13880.

Also, this issue is the start of a new volume and I would like to recognize our new editorial review board, and to thank Lynda Kellam and Stephanie Bowe for their service.


  1. “Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration-Related Information Sharing with U.S. Census Bureau,” DHS/ALL/PIA-079, December 20, 2019, https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/privacy-pia-dhs079-sharingwithcensus-december2019.pdf; Adam Mazmanian, “DHS Maps Out Data Sharing with Census Bureau,” FCW, January 2, 2020, https://fcw.com/articles/2020/01/02/dhs-census-data-sharing.aspx?m=1; Rebecca Klar, “DHS to Share Citizenship Data with Census Bureau in Wake of Court Decision,” The Hill, January 6, 2020, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/476950-dhs-sharing-citizenship-data-with-census-in-wake-of-court-decision.


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