NEWS28 September 2022

US congress asked to fund Census Bureau with $1.5bn

News North America Public Sector

US – The Census Project, an 800-strong coalition of organisations that advocate for the US census, has called for $1.5bn funding to be granted to the Census Bureau to help it modernise and recover from the pandemic.

US Congress

In an open letter, signed by a variety of local and national organisations, the organisations said that the funding was vital to allow the bureau to prepare adequately for the 2030 census.

The letter comes as the US house and senate appropriations committees negotiate compromise funding levels for the 2023 financial year.

“The Census Bureau—the nation’s largest statistical agency—is at an important crossroads,” the letter said.

“The agency is still resolving the outcome of the 2020 census, while simultaneously pursuing ground-breaking innovations and preparing for the 2030 census.”

The letter added that multi-year funding could provide the resources the bureau needs “not only to sustain and strengthen its mission, but also to recover from years of postponed enhancements and pursue numerous necessary operational improvements”.

The reforms included consolidating and integrating legacy surveys and systems into a “new, more nimble data collection and dissemination model” and would help avoid additional funding later in the decade.

Howard Fienberg, co-director at the Census Project, said: “The house level of funding gives the bureau the best chance to keep their modernisation moving forward and keep pace with innovations in the private sector.”

Mary Jo Hoeksema, co-director at the Census Project, said: “States and local communities desperately need an improved ACS and an enhanced Population Estimates programme to fill in gaps in the 2020 data. The house funding level makes these more possible.”