The Census Project Mourns the Passing of Dr. Steve Murdock,
Census Bureau Director, 2008-2009
On April 11, the Associated Press confirmed the passing of former Census Bureau Director Dr. Steve Murdock. In a personal blog, Census Bureau Director Robert Santos described Dr. Murdock’s distinguished career as a public servant, professor, and analyst who, among his many accomplishments, successfully managed the critical final planning stages of the 2010 Census. Dr. Murdock was an original ex-officio member of The Census Project Advisory Committee. We will miss his leadership and guidance and join the census stakeholder community in expressing our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

Appropriations Update

In April, The Census Project continued its efforts to promote the Census Bureau’s funding needs by releasing a letter signed by almost 80 national, state, and local organizations urging Congress to provide the Census Bureau with $2 billion in Fiscal Year 2024.

In March, President Biden submitted his proposed Fiscal Year 2024 budget to Congress for its consideration, which included a recommended funding level of $1.606 billion for the Census Bureau — a $121 million increase over the agency’s FY 2023 level. In April, Congress responded by holding numerous hearings in the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to examine the President’s request.

The House and Senate Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Subcommittees, which have jurisdiction over the Census Bureau, received testimony from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo. While the Census Bureau did not figure prominently in the Secretary’s statements, during the House CJS subcommittee hearing, she fielded several questions and comments about the agency. Specifically, Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) asked about the impact of the Administration’s request on the Bureau’s research activities and development of the 2030 Census operational design. Representative Jake Ellzey (R-TX), a new member of the CJS subcommittee, commented on the perceptions of the 2020 Census undercount in certain regions of the country and how the agency is adapting in light of lessons learned from the last decennial. Representative Andrew Clyde (R-GA), another new member of the House CJS subcommittee, expressed his concerns regarding the Bureau’s obligation to enumerate noncitizens and its potential impact on apportionment.

The Senate CJS subcommittee held its Department of Commerce hearing on April 26. Secretary Raimondo did not receive any census related questions or comments.

The next step in the annual appropriations process is for the House Appropriations Committee to draft or “mark up” all 12 annual funding bills and send them to the floor for consideration. On April 27, Representative Kay Granger (R-TX), Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, announced her intention to mark up all 12 appropriations bills between mid-May and mid-June. If the House Appropriations Committee meets her target, the bills could be debated on the House floor later this summer. Her letter did not specify when the CJS bill will be scheduled for mark up. In addition, it is not clear if and when the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider their versions of the 12 annual appropriations bills.

Policy Update

Census Stakeholders React to Proposed Race and Ethnicity Data Collection Standards
Census stakeholders responded forcefully to a request for public comments from the Interagency Technical Working Group on Race and Ethnicity Standards regarding initial proposals for updating Federal race and ethnicity data collection standards. The Working Group will use the public’s comments, which were due April 27, to inform their ongoing deliberations to modernize the current standards, which have been in effect since 1997. In comments organized by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, 121 organizations expressed their views regarding proposals to create a combined race and ethnicity question as well as a Middle Eastern/North African minimum category. Other organizations that submitted comments included the Population Association of America/Association of Population CentersDisability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Congressional Democrats Introduce Prison Gerrymandering Bill
On April 26, members of the U.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Deborah Ross (D-NC), Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo), and Rep. Emilia Strong Sykes (D-OH), introduced a bill to end prison gerrymandering nationwide. The bill would direct the Census Bureau to count incarcerated people at their home addresses, rather than at their detention or correctional facilities. The Prison Policy Initiative published a blog that provides additional information about the bill.

Montana Codifies State’s Anti-Prison Gerrymandering Reforms
In April, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte signed into law a bill that makes that state’s anti-prison gerrymandering reforms permanent. The state’s independent redistricting commission had addressed prison gerrymandering when drawing its 2020 maps. The bill ensures this practice will prevail in the future. The Prison Policy Initiative published a blog regarding the bill’s enactment.

GAO Removes Decennial Census From High-Risk List
In an April 21 blog, The Census Project reported that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) had removed the decennial census from its list of high-risk Federal programs. GAO found, “The Census Bureau slowed decades of cost growth while completing the 2020 Decennial Census during a pandemic. However, the continuing undercounts of segments of the population as reported by the Bureau signal that 2030 Census planning should be monitored for emerging risks.” The GAO indicated that it would monitor various risks in 2030 Census planning, including: “Budgetary uncertainty”; “Inadequate testing”; “Late IT decisions”; and “Declining participation.”

Census Stakeholders Raise Concerns Regarding Future of ACS Ancestry Question
In an April 7 letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce, a group of census stakeholders, led by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, urged the Census Bureau “to pause its research into possible elimination of the ACS ancestry question.” The letter states that such an effort “is premature in the absence of any detailed race and ethnicity subgroup or national origin data from the 2020 Census as a point of comparison and in the midst of an in-depth review of OMB Statistical Policy Directive 15.” More information about the letter and this issue is available in a recent Census Project blog.

Brookings Issues Report on Challenges Regarding Native American Data Collection
In an April 12 blog, The Census Project highlighted a recent report issued by the Brookings Institution that recommends the Federal government reconsider its approach to collecting and publishing data on Native Americans. The blog links to the full report and its recommendations.

Census Bureau News

On April 27, the Census Bureau released data from the Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS), a survey that measures business conditions on an ongoing basis.

The Census Bureau announced the appointment of Cherokee Bradley to chair, Carol Hafford to vice-chair, and six new members to its National Advisory Committee (NAC) on April 12.

On April 3, the Bureau announced that it is inviting the public to review and submit feedback on proposed modernized disclosure avoidance methods for 2022 County Business Patterns (CBP) data. The 60-day comment period closes June 2.

The experimental Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) for Heat, a new data product, was unveiled on April 13. Community resilience is the capacity of individuals and households within a community to absorb the external stresses of a disaster. While the standard Community Resilience Estimates (CRE) measures the social vulnerability that inhibits community resilience, the experimental CRE for Heat measures social vulnerability in the context of extreme heat exposure, allowing for new risk factors to account for exposure.

The Bureau issued a press release on April 10 reminding businesses that it is not too late to respond to the 2022 Economic Census.

On April 6, the Census Bureau released a report describing trends in working from home before and after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States in March 2020.

Census Bureau Director Robert Santos published a blog on April 3 regarding how the agency is engaging the public in preparation for the 2030 Census.

Census Bureau Data Releases

On April 27, the Census Bureau released the 2021 County Business Patterns (CBP). This annual series of statistics provides subnational economic data by industry.

Additional data from the Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES) covering data year 2021 was released on April 27.

Results from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2021 Management and Organizational Practices Survey (MOPS) was released on April 26.

On April 19, new data from phase 3.8 of the experimental Household Pulse Survey (HPS) was released.

New Business Formation Statistics (BFS) for March 2023 were released on April 17. The BFS provide timely and high frequency information on new business applications and formations in the United States.

On April 13, the Census Bureau released a downloadable file containing estimates of the nation’s resident population by sex and single year of age as of July 1, 2022.

Data from the Business Trends and Outlook Survey (BTOS), a survey that measures business conditions on an ongoing basis, was released on April 13.

On April 4, the Census Bureau released updated versions of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) Origin-Destination Employment Statistics (LODES) data product and the OnTheMap application.

News You Can Use

Below are several articles posted on The Census Project home page in April 2023.  For a complete listing, go to:

Where retirees are moving  
The News Herald
April 25, 2023

LGBTQ+ data availability  
April 25, 2023

Are Brazilians Hispanic? Many say ‘yes,’ report says
Associated Press
April 19, 2023

April 17, 2023

The government wants to change how it collects race and ethnicity data. Here’s what you need to know
April 16, 2023

This is the No. 1 state for working from home, according to new research
April 16, 2023

The age at which people give up on homeownership, and more!
The Washington Post
April 14, 2023

In a Growing Share of U.S. Marriages, Husbands and Wives Earn About the Same
Pew Research Center
April 13, 2023

Why An Aging Population Might Not Doom The American Economy
April 13, 2023

States With the Lowest Tax Burdens on Individuals
U.S. News & World Report
April 11, 2023

Report: U.S. Child Population On the Decline
Public News Service
April 11, 2023

Home-based workers became younger, more diverse in pandemic
Associated Press
April 9, 2023

Did the last census overcount Asian Americans? It depends on where you look
April 7, 2023

See the fastest growing (and shrinking) U.S. states
April 7, 2023

Big cities see gains, slower losses in return to prepandemic norms
The National Desk
April 6, 2023

What Policymakers Need To Know About Today’s Working Class
Center for American Progress
April 6, 2023

‘Gold mine’ of census records being released from 1950
Associated Press
April 3, 2023

Congress Today Is Older Than It’s Ever Been
April 2, 2023

Many Puerto Ricans Leaving US Mainland
April 2, 2023

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