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Census

The U.S. Census is required under the U.S. Constitution to occur every 10 years and is the process of counting every resident in the country. For the first time ever, in 2020 the Census will be primarily digitally based.

Why it matters

The U.S. Census data is used to make decisions around education, healthcare, infrastructure, and political representation. With increased growth in the country, getting an accurate and complete count of every person living within is crucial to ensure that each state receives funding to support the number of residents in each state. This Census the focus continues to be on reaching hard to count communities and ensuring these communities get included in the Census count.

What we're doing

The League’s Census work will occur in three phases: (1) Education; (2) Get Out to Count activities, (3) Watchdog reporting. In the months leading up to Census Day—April 1, 2020—Leagues around the country will be in communities sharing information and resources about how to participate and the importance of the U.S. Census. On Census Day, the League will work in coalition to help get everyone counted, work in Complete Count Committees to share out information about low-reporting areas, and communicate where additional support is needed. Once the Census count wraps up in the Summer/Fall of 2020, the League’s will remain in communities and will watchdog any issues from the ground.

Featured Content

Census In Depth

On September 16, 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau will deliver their final resources to states to use for redistricting.  The delivery of this final set of resources is the culmination of years of hard work by career staff at the US Census Bureau.  

Like in years past, LWVUS was an official partner of the 2020 Census, helping to prepare and share tools and information to local and state Leagues as they engaged their communities. 

In 2020, we experienced significant delays in the receipt of census data. This is largely due to an updated privacy protection model, which ensures greater confidentiality for respondents while keeping the data’s accuracy. 

LWVUS with over 100 organizations urges Senators to cosponsor the bipartisan 2020 Census Deadline Extensions Act to extend the deadlines for delivering apportionment and redistricting data

Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its first set of data from the 2020 Census — and as a result, several states gained or lost representation in Congress.

LWVUS joined a statement by Advancing Justice, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and National Conference on Citizenship to warn inappropriate data for redistricting.

Stipulated dismissal guarantees Census Bureau will not release rushed apportionment numbers, will not provide states with data to exclude noncitizens from redistricting, and will continue to provide key analysis and information to plaintiffs and the public about the quality of the partially shortened count under the Trump administration.

LWV of the United States filed a friend of the court brief in Ohio v. Coggins, a suit brought by the state of Ohio and Ohio’s secretary of state to rush the delivery of census data for congressional district apportionment.

LWV joined other census and redistricting champions in calling for the recission of EO 13380, which mandated the Census Bureau creation of a block-level citizenship database.

LWVUS is urging Congress to extend the statutory reporting deadlines that the U.S. Census must follow when sending apportionment numbers to the President and sending redistricting data to the states. 

LWV of the United States and the Leagues of California, Florida, and Texas filed an amicus brief in New York v. Trump, a case which challenges President Trump’s executive order to block undocumented individuals from being counted in the U.S. Census.