The decennial nationwide census is required by the Constitution and is integral to democracy in the U.S., ensuring that congressional districts are fairly and accurately drawn. In addition, the federal government uses census-derived data to direct at least $800 billion annually in federal assistance to states, localities, and families through at least 300 programs. The accuracy of census data is critically important to the integrity of the U.S. government and how it serves its people. A full, fair, and accurate census, and the collection of useful, objective data about the nation’s people, housing, economy, and communities, is vitally important because of the far-reaching implications that these data have, affecting so many aspects of government action and ultimately people’s lives.
NWLC submitted a second comment to the Department of Commerce opposing the addition of a citizenship question, which will likely exacerbate the undercounting of people of color, young children, and LGBTQ people, both immigrants and citizens, will increase the inaccuracy and cost of the 2020 Census, and does not have practical utility. NWLC’s comment also included feedback about other ways to improve the 2020 Census to address undercounting of people of color, young children, and low-income families.