Explained: The Risks Facing the 2020 Census

Why some experts are very concerned that Census 2020 will fail the democracy that depends on it.

February 6, 2018, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

A video explainer produced by Vox begins with the assumption that the decennial census is the catalyst for many of the processes at the foundation of U.S. democracy. That fact sets the stakes for more expert voices raising concerns that the 2020 Census is at risk of failing its intended purposes.

According to the video, the story of the 2020 Census begins with the 2010 Census, which ballooned in cost to a record and provoked the ire of cost-cutting congressional representatives, which set a cap on the amount of funding the 2020 Census can receive from the federal government. The problem with the cap, according to the video, is that it's getting harder and more expensive to make an accurate count in some parts of the country.

The video also tackles the controversial addition of a question that asks about citizenship, which could further lower participation rates.

This isn't the first alarm sounded about the possibility that Census 2020 is doomed to failure. The NAACP has sued the Trump Administration on the grounds that the latter is not making good-faith efforts to reach "hard-to-count" populations, and an article for Brookings raises similar points about Census 2020. See Planetizen's complete Census 2020 coverage here.

Monday, February 5, 2018 in YouTube

Twin Cities

Minneapolis Housing Plan a Success—Not for the Reason You Think

Housing advocates praise the city’s move to eliminate single-family zoning by legalizing triplexes on single-family lots, but that isn’t why housing construction is growing.

May 13, 2022 - Reason

Single-Family Housing Construction

New White House Housing Initiative Includes Zoning Reform Incentives

The Biden administration this morning released a new program of actions intended to spur housing construction around the United States.

May 16, 2022 - The White House

San Francisco Houses

‘Mega-Landlords’ Threaten Housing Stability for Renters

As institutional investors buy up a larger share of single-family homes, the families renting them are increasingly vulnerable to rent increases and eviction.

May 15, 2022 - The Hill

Puente Hills Landfill as seen from the air

More Funds to Transform the Puente Hills Landfill into a Regional Park

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors just approved an additional $28 million to support the development of the Puente Hills Regional Park at the landfill site.

May 23 - Supervisor Hilda Solis

Denver, Colorado

Denver Freeway Widening Plans on Hold

The Colorado Department of Transportation’s plan to widen the Interstate 25 freeway through Denver is one of a few plans to widen urban freeways under consideration in the United States.

May 23 - The Colorado Sun

Fringe Development

Public Perceptions of Sprawl and Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Urban density has a bad reputation.

May 23 - Greater Greater Washington

HUD’s 2022 Innovative Housing Showcase

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Expanding HUD’s Eviction Protection Grant Program

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

New Updates on The Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.