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Memorandum 2016.05
Component ID: #ti1156233841

This memorandum officially documents the U.S. Census Bureau’s plan to develop and transmit to Congress the Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census Program and Questions Planned for the 2020 Census Program.

Component ID: #ti602148125

Overview

Title 13, U.S. Code requires the Census Bureau to send Congress the subjects proposed to be included in the census not later than three years before the Census date. Congress will receive the Subjects Planned for the 2020 Census Program, describing the subjects proposed for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey (ACS) before March 31, 2017.

Title 13 also requires that Congress receive the specific questions proposed to be included in the census not later than two years before the Census date. Congress will receive the Questions Planned for the 2020 Census Program, introducing the questions proposed for the 2020 Census and the ACS before March 31, 2018.

The Census Bureau will submit the topics included on the 2020 Census and ACS jointly, as ACS will incorporate 2020 Census content beginning in 2019, and the Census of Island Areas will incorporate a selection of these subjects and questions as well. As preparations begin for the 2020 Census, the content of both operations is jointly considered and finalized.

Component ID: #ti1156233842

Scope

Previous submissions of the documentation regarding subjects and questions included the following information, examples of which can be seen in Appendices A and B:

Subjects Planned Documentation

  • A brief summary of the data created by each question collected;
  • An explanation of how the data are currently used to meet federal needs;
  • A selection of non-federal community uses of the data; and
  • Selected statutory uses by agency.

Questions Planned Documentation

  • An image of the paper (mailed) version of each question;
  • A brief summary of the data created by each question collected;
  • An explanation of how the data are currently used to meet federal needs; and
  • A selection of non-federal community uses of the data.

The documentation submitted in 2017 and 2018 will include the same complement of information. Additionally, although the ACS and 2020 questions differ by response mode, the version highlighted in the question documentation will continue to be the version included on the paper questionnaire.

Component ID: #ti1156233840

Project Timeline

Many stakeholders share an interest in the 2020 Census and ACS content, including federal agencies, federal statistical agencies, state and local governments, those who will respond to the 2020 Census and ACS, academia, businesses, nonprofit organizations, media, data users, and oversight groups. The Census Bureau will develop this documentation through a process that is clear and transparent to all stakeholders, and offer opportunities for input to be provided and considered throughout the process.

The table below contains a timeline for this document development, as well as opportunities for stakeholders to comment on proposed content.1

Component ID: #ti1156233839

Phase Planned Activity Planned Activity Timeline
1 Inform/Create General Awareness March 2016—August 2016
2 Federal Agencies are Invited to Provide Updates to Federal Use Documentation March 2016—June 2016
3 Incorporate Feedback May 2016—September 2016
4 Develop Topic Submission October 2016—December 2016
5 Provide Updates and Conduct Briefings January 2017—March 2017
6 Final Topics Planned document available No later than March 31, 2017
7 Follow-up with Federal Agencies about Federal Use Documentation as needed March 2017—June 2017
8 Federal Register notice of Public Comment Period (proposed changes to ACS) July 2017—September 2017
(60 days)
9 Federal Register notice of Public Comment Period II (ACS submission) December 2017—January 2018
(30 days)
10 Submit Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (proposed changes to ACS) January 2018
11 Federal Register notice Public Comment Period (proposed content for 2020 Census) May 2018—July 2018
(60 days)
12 Federal Register notice Public Comment Period II (2020 Census submission) August 2018—September 2018
(30 days)
13 Submit Information Collection Request (ICR) to OMB under the Paperwork Reduction Act (proposed content for 2020 Census) September 2018
14 Provide Updates and Conduct Briefings January 2018—March 2018
15 Final Questions Planned document available No later than March 31, 2018

Component ID: #ti1156233838

____________________
1 These dates are intended to show the planned phases in the development of this documentation, though actual dates may be subject to change.

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