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Hot Topics: January 2018

Changes to the Race/Ethnicity Question

  • The Census Bureau’s Decision Memo on implementing separate questions for race and ethnicity without the Middle Eastern or North African (MENA) minimum reporting category for both the 2018 End-to-End Census Test and the 2020 Census was published on January 26. We expect press inquiries and letters from Congress and stakeholders on this issue.
  • By law, the actual question wording that will appear on the 2020 Census questionnaire must be submitted to Congress by March 31.

Residence Criteria

  • The Residence Criteria FRN cleared on January 12, in time for the 2020 Census Program Management Review on January 26. The Census Bureau’s Decision Memo and supporting communications materials will be posted in early February.


  • The Census Bureau is evaluating a request from the U.S. Department of Justice on adding a question about citizenship status and has a well-established process for considering requests for a new question to the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey.
  • Communications materials and a standard response to the letters we are getting from Congress were finalized by January 19.
  • The Census Bureau has received 2 FOIAs on this issue.

2020 Census Program Management Review

  • The Census Bureau held its winter 2020 Census Program Management Review on January 26, 2018, in the Census Bureau’s Auditorium. There was a C-SHaRPS system demonstration.

2020 Census Life Cycle Cost Estimate (LCCE)

  • In support of the 2020 Census LCCE, the Executive Summary of the underlying Basis of Estimate will be transmitted to Congress imminently.
  • After receiving the Basis of Estimate and its related suite of documentation of the LCCE, GAO resumed its engagement on the cost estimation on January 9.

USPS and Census Bureau Pilot for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test

  • While finalizing the Interagency Agreement for the Postal Carriers as Enumerators Pilot, attorneys from the USPS and Commerce Department identified conflicts of law between Titles 18 and 39 (USPS authority) and Title 13 (Census Bureau authority).
  • All other USPS Partnership work remains on schedule.

Recruiting for the 2018 End-to-End Census Test

  • As of January 16, we have 1,717 qualified candidates. Our goal for entering training is 1,166 employees so that we can have approximately 1,049 trained employees entering the Nonresponse Followup operation.
  • The Census Bureau will continue to aggressively recruit candidates and remain concerned about recruiting for the 2020 Census.

National Partnership

  • The Census Bureau is building the infrastructure to establish contacts with corporations and national partners.

Census Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC) and National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations (NAC)

  • Refreshing charters for both committees – currently routing renewed charters through DOC for signature as the current charters are set to expire in March: CSAC expires March 17 and NAC expires March 24.
  • Meetings are scheduled for both committees this spring.
  • Refreshing team members for CSAC – an executive selection panel will convene to fill nine current and upcoming member vacancies on January 24.

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