Census 2020: Everything you need to know about North Carolina’s hard-to-count communities

A complete and accurate census count is incredibly important. The census shapes how billions of dollars in federal funding are distributed, how congressional seats are apportioned, and how communities plan for their future residents. But certain populations have historically been undercounted in the census, due to a variety of factors. Undercounting these communities skews the census data that’s used to ensure fair political representation and support community planning. To help North Carolina achieve a complete…

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Who gets counted in the 2020 Census?

Counting all residents is a complex undertaking. Who is counted? And how does the Census Bureau capture unique populations, such as the homeless or military personnel? These questions, and more, were asked last week at "Making NC Count," the first statewide convening by the NC Counts Coalition. Here's what you need to know: Is it a law that everyone gets counted? Article 1 Section 2 of the Constitution mandates that the US take a Census…

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The 2020 census, citizenship, and potential impacts on NC

Once every 10 years, we count all individuals living in the United States in the census. In 2010, respondents were asked ten questions about basic characteristics, such as age, sex, race, and homeownership status. Last week, Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that census respondents will answer one additional question in 2020: citizenship status. Introducing an additional, untested question so late in the census life cycle is concerning to demographers and social scientists, like me, who rely on the census as a key source of information about how and why our population is changing.

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2020 Congressional Reapportionment: An Update

Every decade, following the decennial Census, the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated to the 50 states based on their population. After the 2000 Census, 12 House seats shifted between the states; another 12 seats shifted after the 2010 Census. Two years ago, we explored how ongoing population shifts might impact the reapportionment process following the 2020 Census. At that time, the most recent population estimates were for 2014. Today we…

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U.S. Congressional District Population Estimates and Deviation from Ideal Population Size, 2014

Following the decennial Census, political districts, such as U.S. Congressional Districts and state legislative districts, are reapportioned to states and counties on the basis of population and their boundaries are redrawn in a process called redistricting. Broadly speaking, the goal of redistricting is to make each district as close in population size in possible. North Carolina is not the only state with uneven patterns of population growth. Across the United States, population is increasingly concentrated in urban and…

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Who Counts Overseas? Reapportionment & Interstate Conflict

States typically benefit from having as much representation in Congress as possible. Each state is guaranteed two Senators, but the number of representatives each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives is based on population size. Representatives are reapportioned to the states every ten years, following the release of population counts from the decennial census. As the number of seats in the House of Representatives is fixed at 435, any change in the number…

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2020 Reapportionment Will Shift Political Power South and West

December 21, 2017: This post provides an updated look at potential 2020 reapportionment shifts based on the July 1, 2017 population estimates. Every decade, following the decennial Census, the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are allocated to the 50 states on the basis of their population. After the 2000 Census, 12 House seats shifted between 18 states. Ten states lost at least one representative while eight states gained at least one representative.…

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Are you ready for 2020? November Series Preview

The Census Bureau is already planning for the decennial Census on April 1, 2020. This will be the largest enumeration in American history, as the U.S. population has continued to grow steadily since 2010. 2020 is also on the horizon for the major political parties. The outcome of state and local elections on November 3, 2020, will determine who is in office during the post-enumeration process known as reapportionment and redistricting. One time each decade, seats…

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Looking toward 2020

Are you planning for 2020? The U.S. Census Bureau is. Research and testing for the content and delivery of the 2020 Census have been underway since 2012. Not only is the Bureau testing methods to improve response rates and reduce costs, they are also examining how to structure the questionnaire to best capture changing conceptions of identity and changing household types. John Thompson, the U.S. Census Bureau Director, recently wrote: "One challenge we face is…

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