U. S. census

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

Updated 2:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Monday that it will restore a question about citizenship to the 2020 census questionnaire.

In an eight-page memo Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the Justice Department has requested that the census ask who is a citizen in order to help determine possible violations of the Voting Rights Act, to help enforce that law.

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced it will change the way it counts troops deployed overseas, while keeping its policy on counting prisoners for the upcoming national headcount in 2020. How these two populations are factored into the 2020 census could affect the balance of power in government at both the federal and local levels.

There's been a decades-long push for the U.S. Census Bureau to collect more detailed data on people with roots in the Middle East or North Africa, also known as MENA. Advocates of that campaign hit another roadblock Friday, when the Census Bureau announced it is not planning to add a MENA category to the 2020 census.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET Friday

A Census Bureau announcement about the race and ethnicity questions for the 2020 census suggests the Trump administration will not support Obama-era proposals to change how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity, census experts say.

Updated Dec. 6

"White" has been a constant of the U.S. census.

Other racial categories for the national head count have come and gone over the centuries. But "white" has stuck ever since U.S. marshals went door to door by horseback for the first census in 1790, tallying up the numbers of "free white males" and "free white females," plus "all other free persons" and "slaves."

Igor Stevanovic, 123rf Stock Photo

Kentuckians for the Commonwealth hopes to raise awareness of the significance of an accurate count during the 2020 Census. 

The 2020 Census is expected to cost more than $15 billion — an increase of more than 25 percent above the U.S. Census Bureau's original estimate — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told members of the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during a Thursday hearing.

"There are still many challenges ahead," said Ross, who says additional funding from Congress is "urgently needed" as preparations continue for the once per decade, constitutionally mandated count of every person in the U.S.

After an outcry from advisers to the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal agency is no longer considering a proposal to remove a question about sexual orientation from a marketing survey for the 2020 Census.

John Thompson was appointed by President Barack Obama to head the U.S. Census Bureau in 2013 and had worked there for 27 years before running it. So the announcement in May that he was resigning — smack in the middle of a one-year term extension — came as a surprise to many, including census watchers.

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