Welcome to the Census Project website. The Census Project is an informal network of scores of census stakeholder organizations that are working to ensure inclusive, comprehensive and forward-thinking early planning for Census 2020. We also will encourage Congress and the Administration to provide adequate resources to meet the task. Further, we support the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), which replaced the census long form as an ongoing source of key social, economic and demographic data. This vital survey also needs adequate resources over the coming decade to maintain its accuracy and usefulness to decision makers.
In FY 2013, because of economic, fiscal and political challenges, the ongoing budgets to adequately fund planning for Census 2020 and the ACS' ongoing work were under a microscope in Congress. And, the House of Representatives voted to eliminate the FY 2013 funding for the ACS. Fortunately, the U.S. Senate blocked this move in the final budget for that fiscal year.
In its FY 2015 budget, the House once again voted to make participation in the ACS voluntary. In response the Census Project helped coordinate a letter to Congress signed by the seven living former Census Bureau directors. The letter urged the Senate not to follow the House action. Again, the Senate budget contained no language to dilute the ACS. The final FY 2015 Census Bureau budget preserved the ACS but did cut Census 2020's ramped- up planning budget by approximately 50 percent, to $123 million. With a change in political leadership in the Senate, Congress may be much more critical of Census Bureau planning budgets and the ACS for the next fiscal year.
Therefore the Census Project is also engaging in a public education campaign to alert the public, policymakers and the media to the stakes involved in these early decisions by Congress and the Census Bureau.