NEWS5 May 2021

Congress asked to invest in US Census Bureau

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US – A group of census users has called on the US congress to provide $2bn in funding for the US Census Bureau in 2022 to help it modernise its infrastructure.

US Congress

The Census Project, a coalition of national, state and local organisations that use the census for evidence-based investment, policy and planning decisions, said the funding was required to help the Census Bureau recover from years of delayed operational improvements.

In a letter to the leaders of the US house and senate appropriations committees, 55 members of the Census Project said the funding was required to provide “the agency with resources that it needs” to “sustain and strengthen its mission”.

Necessary Census Bureau infrastructure upgrades include expanding and enhancing the American Community Survey, stabilising the Survey of Income and Program Participation, building upon new initiatives such as the Census Pulse surveys, and preparing for the 2022 Economic Census.

The 2020 census results are still being analysed and were held in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the bureau will also need to prepare technology for the 2030 census while undertaking improvements in its other projects.

The Census Bureau conducts over 100 surveys a year and provides data on a range of issues such as the nation’s health, housing, economy and demographic characteristics.

Mary Jo Hoeksema, co-director of the Census Project, said: “The Census Bureau is fundamental to a broad range of public policy goals.

“To meet these needs and adapt to changing times, innovations in collecting and measuring the economy, people and places require substantial new public investments.”