United States Census 2020

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United States Census 2020
United States Census 2020 logoTemplate: Infobox / maintenance / picture

Will be collected on April 1, 2020
population is still charged
Change from 2010 is still charged
Most populous state is still charged
Lowest population state is still charged

The 24th United States Census is a census cut on April 1, 2020. It is carried out by the United States Census Bureau , an agency subordinate to the Department of Commerce . According to the US Constitution , the census must take place every ten years, the previous one being the 2010 United States Census .


For the time of the census, a population of 333,546,000 was calculated in advance, which would mean an increase of 8.03% compared to the 2010 census.

In accordance with the provisions of Title 13 of the United States Code , personally identifiable information obtained through the census is generally confidential. However, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is authorized to publish all data after 72 years. In the case of the 2020 census, this will be the case in 2092.

The population figures of the individual states collected via the 2020 census are relevant for the distribution of seats for the delegates in the US House of Representatives and for the Electoral College (electoral college ). The numbers will be used as a basis for future presidential elections in the period 2022 to 2030.

Changes to previous census

There are several changes compared to the previous census.

For the first time, in addition to the traditional way of filling out a paper form, there will also be the option of entering your census information completely online and by telephone. It is generally assumed that the information is provided online. However, after a certain period has elapsed, the forms will be sent to the households in paper form. The paper forms are sent to selected regions with low Internet penetration right from the start.

It will also be possible for the first time to provide information in twelve other languages ​​in addition to English - but only online or by telephone. In addition, translation aids are provided for a total of 59 languages.

For the first time, the recording of buildings and addresses is also supported by GPS-supported satellite images. Previously, as part of the census, deployed auxiliaries had to walk down every single street in the USA in order to verify local addresses. In the course of this, special software is being used for the first time to record empty households more efficiently on the one hand. On the other hand, it should be better recognized when the best time to visit households is to avoid unnecessary multiple visits to addresses.


The following questions are asked as part of the census:

  1. How many people live or stay in the household?
  2. Do the people in the household live for rent or own property?
  3. What gender are the people in the household?
  4. How old are the people in the household?
  5. What race do the people in the household belong to?
  6. Is any person in the household Hispanic or Latino ?
  7. What is the relationship between the people in the household?


  • January - March 2019: The Census Bureau opens 39 census coordination offices across the country.
  • June - September 2019: The Census Bureau opens another 209 branch offices. These are intended to support the assistants in carrying out all the necessary steps.
  • August 2019: The inventory of all residential addresses is checked.
  • January 2020: The Census Bureau begins the census due to its remoteness in the state of Alaska .
  • April 1, 2020: The census will officially take place on this day. An invitation to participate in the census will be sent to the residential addresses.
  • April 2020: The employed assistants carry out on-site visits to households around selected universities. At the same time, interviews are carried out for quality control.
  • May 2020: The Census Bureau starts visiting households that have not complied with the call to participate.
  • December 2020: The results of the census are announced to the President.


As part of the census, around 500,000 auxiliary workers will temporarily be involved in its implementation. Anyone 18 years of age or older, has a valid Social Security number and email address, and is a US citizen can apply for a job online. The applicant must also not be listed with the FBI and must accept prior fingerprint verification. In addition, he must sign a confidentiality agreement in the event that he comes into contact with personal data.

Planned questioning about citizenship

After the 1950 census , the question about citizenship was deleted and then only asked about the respondent's place of birth. In a memorandum carried out in January 2018 , the Census Bureau came to the conclusion that this question was no longer necessary, since data on nationalities are already being collected by other authorities and a double survey would be financially nonsensical. The US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross , whose department runs the Census Bureau, said that the surveys so far are not sufficient. In March 2018, the Census Bureau finally announced its plan to ask for nationality: "Is this person a citizen of the United States?" Ross justified the question to Congress with better enforcement of the Voting Rights Act , which is supposed to ensure equal participation of minorities in US elections. The question was approved by him after the Justice Department asked him to do so.

Following the announcement by the Census Bureau, many US state and city politicians criticized the decision, pointing out that migrants would feel discouraged from providing correct information in the census. At the same time, they questioned the real motives behind Minister Wilbur Ross's decision. In three states at the same time (New York, Maryland and California) lawsuits were filed against the project. In June 2019, the Census Bureau carried out a test survey of around 480,000 households to find out what general effects the question of citizenship has. At the same time, suitable strategies should be developed to avoid false information or even the complete refusal of participation by the respondents.

In the course of the initiated legal proceedings, documents were presented in May 2019 that showed that the planned indication of nationality should serve as the basis for constituency shifts (so-called gerrymandering ) in the run-up to future elections in favor of the Republicans . The Republican Thomas B. Hofeller, who died in 2018, was in charge of this, who in turn justified the step with the implementation of the Voting Rights Act . Through Subpoenas , the Ministry of Justice was asked to submit further material dealing with the introduction of the question. This also checked whether Wilbur Ross or United States Attorney General William Barr had violated the law. On June 12, 2019, the administration under President Trump announced that parts of the documents could not be used due to confidentiality. The United States House Committee on Oversight and Reform expressed its confidence in Wilbur Ross and William Barr.

Trials at the New York District Court and the Supreme Court

Before the federal district court ( United States District Court ) for the Southern District Court of New York, the suit was by the Attorney General of the State, Barbara Underwood, filed. 17 other states, 15 cities and several human rights groups have joined this. During the investigation, it came to light that Wilbur Ross had discussions with political advisor Steve Bannon about the plan to introduce the nationality issue before March 2018 , which refuted Ross' testimony at the federal congress. This prompted Judge Jesse M. Furman to ask Ross for an affidavit regarding the addition of the question of nationality in advance of the proceedings in November 2018.

The Trump administration then turned to the Supreme Court with a request to postpone the trial and Wilbur Ross's involvement in the investigation. The court then ruled that the trial should go ahead as planned, but that Ross' affidavit could only take place after the trial had opened.

Judge Furman ruled in January 2019 that including the citizenship question in the 2020 census was illegal, even if it did not violate the constitution itself. Therefore it should be deleted. The Ministry of Justice requested subsequently by means of a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of Justice to deal directly with the decision, which the Court of Appeals for the 2nd District ( United States Court of Appeals - which is actually next instance) would be circumvented. The decision should be made by the end of June 2019 at the latest, as the printing of the forms would start on July 1st. On February 15, the court formally accepted jurisdiction and the hearing took place on April 23, 2019. On June 27, the Supreme Court finally issued the ruling and denied the request to include the question in the census.

Trial in California Federal District Court

The second lawsuit came under Judge Richard Seeborg in the Northern District Court of California, who, like Furman in New York, came to the conclusion that the issue of nationality was against the US Constitution, and he issued an injunction that prohibits their use. The government appealed to the 9th District Court of Appeals. The hearing was scheduled for July 10, 2019.

Trial in Maryland Federal District Court

Another lawsuit was filed by several groups in Maryland's Federal District Court, which was dealt with by judge George J. Hazel. After his decision that the issue was against the constitution, the government appealed to the 4th District Court of Appeal. However, when the revelations about Hofeller became public at the same time, the appellate court returned the case to the district court. It should be checked whether the changed evidence indicates a discriminatory intention. In this case, Judge Hazel would be able to issue an injunction that the question should not appear in the census - regardless of the ongoing proceedings at the Supreme Court.

Further course

Following the decision of the Supreme Court, Donald Trump expressed his intention to postpone the census as long as possible until the legal matter was resolved. The Ministry of Justice finally stated on July 2, 2019 that the question of nationality would not appear in the census and the Ministry of Commerce arranged for the census forms to be printed. The next day, however, Trump reiterated that he would pursue the issue further. The Justice Department immediately announced that it had been instructed to look for a legal way to include the question of nationality in the census.

On July 11, 2019, however, President Trump finally instructed the Department of Commerce to obtain data on the nationality of the population through other federal agencies. He said the government would not deviate from its efforts to know about the nationality of the population. Other federal authorities are able to provide results that are far more accurate than would be possible through a census. A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice immediately stated that the government would inform the courts that it would no longer pursue the goal of nationality interviews in the 2020 census.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Interactive Timeline . In: About the 2010 Census . US Census Bureau. 2011. Archived from the original on December 20, 2010. Retrieved June 17, 2011.
  2. US Census Bureau: Population Projections .
  3. US Census Bureau, Census History Staff, PIO: The "72-Year Rule" - History - US Census Bureau . Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  4. 2020 Census Operational Plan v.4.0 . Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  5. ^ Innovative Technologies Ensure a Complete and Accurate Census . Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  6. "What's New for the 2020 Census?" . April 2, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019. 
  7. 2020 Census Operational Plan v.4.0 . Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Trump backs away from census citizenship question, direct agencies to hand over citizenship information to Commerce . 11th July 2019. 
  9. ^ About the Census Questions . US Census Bureau. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  10. 2020 Operational Plan, v.4.0 . Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  11. Why the 2020 Census Starts in Alaska's Most Remote, Rural Villages , NPR. January 21, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019. 
  12. FACT CHECK: Has Citizenship Been A Standard Census Question? .
  13. Here's how the Census Bureau can find out who's a citizen , CNN. 11th July 2019. 
  14. The 2020 Census Questions Every US Household Will Be Asked, Annotated (en) . In: NPR.org . Retrieved November 3, 2018. 
  15. a b Questions Planned for the 2020 Census and American Community Survey .
  16. ^ Addition of citizenship question to Census draws swift opposition . In: CBS News . March 27, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  17. Citizenship Question Controversy Complicating Census 2020 Work, Bureau Director Says (en) . In: NPR.org . Retrieved November 3, 2018. 
  18. a b c Ariane de Vogue, Elizabeth Hartfield: Third federal judge blocks census citizenship question . In: CNN . April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  19. ^ Hansi Lo Wang: As Legal Battle Persists, Census Citizenship Question Is Put To The Test . In: NPR . June 13, 2019. Retrieved July 2, 2019.
  20. a b Michael Wines: Deceased GOP Strategist's Hard Drives Reveal New Details on the Census Citizenship Question . In: The New York Times . May 30, 2019. Accessed May 31, 2019.
  21. ^ Clare Foran, Lauren Fox: Trump invokes executive privilege ahead of House Oversight contempt vote for Barr, Ross . In: CNN . June 12, 2019. Accessed June 12, 2019.
  22. ^ Clare Foran, Ashley Killough: House votes to hold Barr, Ross in criminal contempt over census dispute . In: CNN . July 17, 2019. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
  23. ^ Census citizenship controversy likely to face New York trial . Associated Press . September 15, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  24. William Hennessy Jr .: Supreme Court refuses Trump administration request to delay trial on 2020 census citizenship question . Associated Press . November 2, 2018. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  25. Elizabeth Hartfield, Gregory Wallace: Federal judge strikes down effort to add citizenship question to Census . In: CNN . January 15, 2019. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  26. Supreme Court will rule on Trump administration's effort to add question on citizenship to 2020 Census . Retrieved February 15, 2019.
  27. Supreme Court hears arguments on 2020 census citizenship question ( en-US ) Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  28. ^ Adam Liptak: Supreme Court Leaves Census Question on Citizenship in Doubt . June 27, 2019.
  29. Hanso Lo Wang: Second Judge Blocks Trump Administration's Census Citizenship Question Plans . In: NPR . March 6, 2019. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  30. ^ Hansi Lo Wong: Judge's Order Sets Up Potential New Block Against Census Citizenship Question . In: NPR . June 19, 2019. Retrieved June 20, 2019.
  31. Jacqueline Thomsen: Appeals court sends census case to lower court to review discrimination claims . In: The Hill . June 25, 2019. Retrieved June 25, 2019.
  32. Nicolas Wu, Richard Wolf: Trump says he asked lawyers if census could be delayed after Supreme Court decision on citizenship question . In: USA Today . June 27, 2019. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  33. 2020 Census will not include citizenship question, DOJ confirms (en) . In: Washington Post , July 2, 2019. 
  34. ^ DOJ Still Looking To Add Census Citizenship Question, Official Tells Court . In: NPR.org , July 3, 2019. 
  35. Michael Wines, Maggie Haberman, Alan Rappeport: Justice Department Reverses Course on Citizenship Question on Census, Citing Trump's Orders . In: The New York Times . July 3, 2019. Retrieved July 3, 2019.
  36. ^ Trump backs away from census citizenship question, direct agencies to hand over citizenship information to Commerce , CNN. Retrieved July 11, 2019. 
  37. a b Trump, 'not backing down' in effort to count citizens amid census fight, announces executive order , Fox News. 11th July 2019.