The Latest: Census test shows citizenship has little impact
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on the U.S. Census Bureau’s preparations for the 2020 count (all times local):
The U.S. Census Bureau says a test for the 2020 census shows having a question about citizenship didn’t have much of an impact on response rates for the general population, though responses by Hispanics were down slightly when the citizenship question was included on the questionnaire.
The test results were released Thursday.
The Census Bureau sent out the test questionnaires in June to 480,000 addresses as part of an effort to fine-tune planning for the 2020 head count next spring.
Half of the questionnaires had a question asking for citizenship information. The other half didn’t.
At the time, the bureau didn’t know if the question would be allowed since it was being litigated between the Trump administration and civil rights groups.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled this summer that the question couldn’t be on the 2020 questionnaire.
A new report says the U.S. Census Bureau is on track to meet key deadlines ahead of next spring’s massive head count, but the agency faces delays in building a temporary workforce that eventually could number as many as a half-million people.
The report released Thursday by the U.S. Government Accountability Office also says the bureau still has critical work to do in making sure its information technology systems are secure and tested for the 2020 census.
The GAO says hiring for early operations has been slowed because of delays in background checks and a higher than expected rate of people who were hired but then dropped out.
The Census Bureau plans to recruit more applicants and expand the number of locations applicants can get fingerprinted for background checks.