NEWS30 June 2021

Court rules in Census Bureau challenge

Covid-19 News North America Public Sector

US – A federal court in Alabama has rejected the state’s request to force the US Census Bureau to move forward its release of 2020 census redistricting data.

US census questionnaire

The three judges also ruled that the agency can continue its plans to use a new statistical method of processing census data that aims to keep data confidential.

The full decennial census data will incorporate ‘differential privacy’ protections that have been designed to protect respondents’ identities.

The judges dismissed a challenge brought by Alabama that said this approach would produce inaccurate data and was unconstitutional. They also dismissed a count by the state challenging the timetable for releasing the data.

In April, the Census Bureau said it planned to start release the full redistricting data – the second half of the 2020 census data – by 16th August. The data is used by states to draw new state legislative and congressional district lines based on population. 

Last year’s decennial census was delayed and disrupted as a result of Covid-19 and interference from the Trump administration.