Census Bureau experts have revised their estimate for the effect of a citizenship question in the census, with a study released this past weekend that found it will cause a greater non-response than previously believed.
The Census Bureau had previously assessed that the question would prompt 5.8 percent of households with at least one noncitizen to not respond to the survey. At the time, the estimate was described as “conservative.”
Sure enough, theCensus Bureau has now found that at least 8 percent of households with at least one noncitizen will not respond to survey.
Overall, the study found, that the question would prompt a “2.2 percentage point drop in self-response in the 2020 census, increasing costs and reducing the quality of the population count.”
The analysis was based on how respondents reacted to the question’s presence on a smaller scale survey the Census Bureau conducts, the American Communities Survey. The Census Bureau is currently running a field test of the question, but only so it can better design the follow-up operation for obtaining the information from the households that don’t respond to the 2020 census.
The Supreme Court will rule whether the question will stay on the census in a decision that is expected this week.
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