Appropriations Update

In lieu of passing its remaining nine Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills out of the Appropriations subcommittees and full committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee posted bills and reports, including the FY 2022 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) appropriations bill, which funds the Census Bureau, on October 18, 2021.

The Senate CJS bill, would provide $1.432 billion for the Census Bureau (a 23 percent increase over Fiscal Year (FY) 21) – $10 million less than the $1.442 billion provided by the House mark and the Biden Administration’s request and $568 million shy of the level recommended by the Census Project.

The Senate recommended $309,865,000 for the Current Surveys and Programs account and $1,122,537,000 for the Periodic Censuses and Programs account (increases of $21,462,000 and $304,296,000 above FY 2021, respectively).

The Census Bureau continues to operate under a Continuing Resolution (CR) funding most federal government functions until December 3 (covered in the September 2021 Census Project Update).

See the Census Project blog for further details, including a summary of the bill’s accompanying report language.

Policy Update

Census Bureau Director Nomination
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Gary Peters (D-MI) asked on October 7, 2021 for unanimous consent on the Senate floor to approve President Biden’s nominee for Census Bureau Director, Robert Santos, for the remaining term through December 31, 2021, and for the next term (through December 31, 2026). “It is critical that we confirm Mr. Santos to the Census Bureau so they can continue their important work with a well-qualified leader at the helm,” Peters said.

Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) objected to the unanimous consent move, stating that “the Census Bureau performs critically important functions to collect accurate and timely data. Unfortunately, I am concerned that this nominee will politicize the Census Bureau and will not perform his duties in a fair and unbiased fashion, which this position demands. I cannot and will not consent to allowing this nominee to move forward in an expedited manner. We should take a vote so every Senator can get on the record with their support or opposition to this nominee.”

The nomination will need to be considered under regular order and require a roll call vote, which will likely not happen until at least the end of the year.

ACS 1-year estimates released only as “experimental” data product
The Census Bureau released an analytical report in advance of publishing “experimental data” from the American Community Survey (ACS), “An Assessment of the COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on the 2020 ACS 1-Year Data,” describing how the pandemic disrupted ACS data collection in 2020 and giving data users insights into why the Census Bureau decided to release the 2020 ACS 1-year estimates as an “experimental product.” The Census Bureau determined the standard 2020 ACS 1-year estimates did not meet the Bureau’s statistical quality standards.

It was also explained in a recent Census Bureau blog post.

New Census Bureau tool for child advocates
On October 19, 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau unveiled a new application on its website that allows data users to more easily find child poverty data for school districts. According to a new Standard Deviations blog on the Census Project website from Bill O’Hare, the new application not only makes the statistical information easily available, but it also provides data visualization tools to enhance understanding of trends and patterns in the data.

Census Bureau News

A Census Bureau study considered how COVID-19 impacted survey response rates.

The final report on the 2020 Census Integrated Communications Campaign (ICC), the $675 million outreach effort designed to educate the nation’s 140 million households about the importance of responding to the 2020 Census highlighted adjustments made to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges such as emerging national events, changing media consumption habits, federal government activities and Census Bureau operational delays.

Beau Houser, the Census Bureau’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), received a 2021 CyberScoop 50 award under the category of Government Leadership.

Acting Census Director Ron Jarmin is the recipient of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) 2021 Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences.

The U.S. Census Bureau held a briefing for the National Urban League plaintiffs in the case of NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE, et. al., v. GINA RAIMONDO et. al. The Census Bureau agreed in a Joint Stipulation in settling this lawsuit to brief plaintiffs every two months to allow an opportunity for questions and answers regarding the status of census processing, forthcoming data quality metrics, and assessment of released data quality metrics. A final briefing will occur after the release of the Post-Enumeration Survey final results.

The U.S. Census Bureau released the total number of 2020 Census paid temporary workers that earned any pay on Sept. 19 – Sept. 25, 2021 and Sept. 26–Oct. 2, 2021, the final reports on this topic.

The Census Bureau awarded four cooperative agreements that will help ensure it can take advantage of advances in entity resolution and record linkage methodology and technology.

Census Bureau Data Releases

The Census Bureau released 2020 Census Population and Housing Unit Counts for Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The Bureau released new estimates on the characteristics of employer businesses from the 2020 Annual Business Survey (ABS).

Data from the 2020 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) was released.

New data from the sixth phase of the Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) was released on October 7, October 14, and October 21.

The Census Bureau released new data from phase 3.2 of the experimental Household Pulse Survey on October 6 and October 20.

U.S. school enrollment dropped by 2.9 million from 2019 to 2020, with enrollment among the under-35 population dipping to its lowest level (52.4% of the total population) in over 20 years, according to data tables based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS).

The Bureau announced the release of new states in the Post-Secondary Employment Outcomes (PSEO) experimental data product: Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, and Virginia. PSEO now includes data on 534 institutions, which cover approximately 21% of all college graduates in the United States in 2015. Data users can use the PSEO Explorer tool, download raw files or query the Census API to access data.

The Census Bureau announced the availability of the Selected Monthly State Tax Collections, featuring monthly selected tax collections compiled from state government resources.

The Bureau released an early look at data from the Annual Survey of School System Finances.

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