The 2020 United States Census, which counts every person in the United States and five U.S. territories, concluded on October 15, 2020.
The goal of the United States Census is to count every person only once and in the right place.
Article I, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution mandates that a population and housing count occur every 10 years. The results determine how many seats in Congress each state receives. The Census also provides critical data that lawmakers, businesses, educators, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for individuals and their communities.
The latest information about the 2020 Census can be found on the 2020 Census Results website https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/decade/2020/2020-census-results.html
Required by law, the Redistricting Data Program provides states the opportunity to specify the small geographic areas for which they wish to receive decennial population totals for the purpose of reapportionment and redistricting.
Under the provisions of Title 13, Section 141(c) of the United States Code (U.S.C.), the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) is required to provide the ‘‘officers or public bodies having initial responsibility for the legislative apportionment or districting of each state ...’’ with the opportunity to specify geographic areas (e.g., blocks, voting districts) for which they wish to receive decennial census population counts for the purpose of reapportionment or redistricting. By April 1 of the year following the decennial census, the Secretary is required to furnish the state officials or their designees with population counts for American Indian areas, counties, cities, census blocks, and state-specified congressional, legislative, and voting districts.
The 2020 Census will use a powerful new privacy protection system known in scientific circles as “differential privacy,” designed specifically for the digital age. The Census Bureau is transitioning to this new, privacy protection system to keep pace with emerging threats in today’s digital world.
A new disclosure avoidance system (DAS) is needed to defend against new threats posed by today’s technology: growing computing power, advances in mathematics, and easy access to large, public databases. Combined, these changes could allow highly sophisticated users to identify common data points between our published statistics, or between our statistics and outside databases. They could use these common threads to potentially identify the people or businesses behind the statistics. Our research shows that the risk of successful re-identifications is unacceptably large. We are committed to applying better and stronger protections with each advance in data science.
To learn more, please see: Protecting the Confidentiality of America’s Statistics: Adopting Modern Disclosure Avoidance Methods at the Census Bureau and Ensuring Confidentiality and Fitness-for-Use.