Census Bureau Analysis Highlights a Consensus Opposing the Citizenship Question

Caleb Herbst

The Census Bureau released an analysis of the comments that they received on the 2020 Census Federal Register Notice that was posted on June 8th, 2018 and closed on August 7th, 2018. According to the Census Bureau’s own analysis, over 99% of the 136,454 comments related to the citizenship question were opposed to the citizen question, and less than 1% (not even 1300 comments) supported the citizenship question. You can find the original post from the Census Bureau on the Federal Register here. You can find the analysis of the comments by the Census Bureau here. Below are two highlights from the analysis.

  • Of the 148,443 comments, 92.8% of the comments (or 137,695) referenced the citizenship question. Of these 137,695 comments referencing the citizenship question, 99.1% of the comments (or 136,454) opposed the citizenship question, and only 0.9% (1,241) supported the citizenship question.
  • Despite there being only 53 comments related to the undercount of young children, it seemed to get the attention of the Census Bureau. In their analysis, under the major category of comments on “Data collection methods, including comments both for and against the internet questionnaire option,” the Census Bureau highlighted that “a subcategory of these reflected concerns about potential undercounts of young children given the new design for data collections, including internet response and automation for the Nonresponse Followup operation.”

There is a second and final public comment period on the Decennial Census available until 11:59 on this Friday, March 15. It is crucially important that we have a strong showing of opposition to the citizenship question and reflect public concern about the undercount of young children.

You can submit your comments here.

Feel free to resubmit your original comments without changes. However, if you want to add some additional points on young children based on the current operations plan, email us at census@countallkids.org and we will share the comments we plan to submit to serve as a model.


Caleb Herbst is an advocate and intern with the Partnership for America’s Children.