More Sources Expressing Alarm at the Budgetary Fate of the 2020 Census

The Trump Administration's draft budget blueprint allotted a 10 percent increase in funding for the Census Bureau, but experts say that's not nearly enough funding in context of the decennial census's ten-year cycle.

1 minute read

April 13, 2017, 6:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Baker, California

The "World's Largest Thermometer," located in Baker, California, is also a large metaphor. | Jayson / Flickr

"The Census Bureau was labeled as one of the few 'winners' in the 2018 budget blueprint from President Donald Trump because a proposed 10% hike contrasted with the deep cuts at most civilian agencies," writes Jeffrey Mavis in an article for Science. "But advocates for the government’s largest statistical agency say that view is very misleading, and that Trump’s request for an additional $130 million actually jeopardizes the upcoming decennial census and other important surveys."

Troubling issues arise as the U.S. Census Bureau ramps up for the 2020 decennial census. Compare the budget allocation at this moment in the cycle for the 2010 census: "Former President George W. Bush requested the equivalent of a 34% increase in 2008 over 2006 levels," according to Mavis's source. "That compares with Trump’s request for a 10% increase in 2018 over 2016." Also at risk, according to the sources cited by Mavis in the article, are the other surveys conducted by the Census Bureau, such as the five-year census of the country's economic activity, scheduled for later this year.

This latest round of concern joins the alarms raised in a March article by Dwyer Gunn. The 2020 Census already created a political controversy with its publication, at the end of March, of its proposed subjects.

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