Challenge #1: Funding
Funding for the 2020 census is moving in the wrong direction. According to a November 2017 Politico report, the U.S. Census Bureau received roughly $200 million below the agency’s request in FY 2017. What's more, proposed funding for FY 2018 is lower than previous decades, when funding levels typically increase in ramp-up years leading to the launch of the census (see the figure below).
Why does this matter?
Conducting a census of more than 325 million Americans is a tall task requiring lots of planning, testing, and outreach. The implications of reduced funding are already being felt. Some examples include: 1) cancellation of 2020 census field testing, 2) proposed cuts to offices and staff and, 3) delayed release of the 2017 economic census.
*See this April 2018 blog post for an update on census funding.
For more information, check out this resource:
- 2017. Is Washington Bungling the Census? Politico. Authored by Danny Vinik.