Senators Carper, Johnson Mark Four Years Until 2020 Census

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Chairman Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) highlighted the four-year mark in the countdown to the 2020 Decennial Census. In October, the Census Bureau released its 2020 Operational Plan, outlining the bureau’s vision for how it will carry out the upcoming 2020 Census, including its plan to conduct tests over the next several years in order to improve the accuracy of the decennial census.

“Conducting a successful and cost-efficient census takes years of planning,” said Senator Carper, top Democrat on the committee. “The Census Bureau has laid out a plan for the 2020 count that could save over $5 billion and reduce the cost per household by almost 30 percent compared to the 2010 Census. However, this plan will only work if Congress continues to provide the bureau the resources it needs now to plan for the census and develop the innovative technologies that can help reduce costs. It’s critical that Congress and the administration work together to ensure the bureau is able to properly implement this plan and successfully conduct a more cost-efficient, modern, and accurate 2020 Census. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the bureau to make sure that happens.”  

“The Census Bureau has made progress towards implementing new technology that has the potential to revolutionize how the 2020 Census is conducted, but much work still needs to be done,” said Chairman Johnson. “We must ensure the failures of the $13 billion 2010 Census – including $3 billion that was wasted on an abandoned handheld data collection project – are not repeated.  I look forward to continued oversight efforts with Ranking Member Carper to ensure the Bureau conducts a more cost-effective and accurate 2020 Census.”

One of the few governmental activities required by the Constitution, the census determines the apportionment of seats in Congress, helps determine how federal dollars are distributed to states, and informs planning decisions of state, federal, and local governments as well as the private sector. The information it gathers is also used at the federal, state, and local level to determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in funds are distributed and by the private sector for important business decisions.