How COVID-19 is delaying the 2020 Census

A person fills out a U.S. census form.
A person fills out a U.S. census form.
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Census operations have been delayed and hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How COVID-19 is delaying the 2020 Census

The Trump administration has asked for more time to return the latest population counts.
April 15, 2020

The U.S. Census Bureau is planning to further postpone its field operations to June 1 and extending the decennial count to the end of October, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to complicate efforts to count the country’s population. Acknowledging current and future challenges, Trump administration officials have asked Congress to pass a law that would adjust deadlines for delivering the new population state counts used for determining political representation and federal funding, NPR reports.  

The Census Bureau has asked for an additional four months to return that new population data to states, meaning it would not be sent out until the end of next April. If approved, this would also likely throw a wrench in redistricting plans for several states. 

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who chairs the House Oversight and Reform Committee, said in a statement that the committee would examine the request but also criticized the Trump administration for not giving sufficient information on the government’s census plans amid the pandemic. 

The head of New York City’s census efforts, Julie Menin, agreed with the request to push back the deadlines. “In order for this to work, the census needs to be fully funded and have enough time to crunch the data once it is collected,” she wrote in a tweet on Monday. Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in New York, the city has had to shift resources to prioritize digital ads, phone banking and text banking to encourage residents to fill out their census forms online, by phone or mail. 

As of Tuesday, 42.6% of New Yorkers across the state had responded to the census. Nearly 38% of residents in New York City have done so.

NYN Media reporter Kay Dervesh
Kay Dervishi
is a staff reporter at NYN Media.
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