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Commerce Department announces addition of citizenship question to 2020 Census

  1. Date Announced

    March 26, 2018

    On December 12, 2017, DOJ requested that the Census Bureau reinstate a citizenship question on the decennial census to provide census block level citizenship voting age population ("CV AP") data that are not currently available from government survey data. On March 26, 2018, the Department of Commerce approved DOJ's request and directed the Census Bureau to reinstate the citizenship question on the 2020 census short form (which every household will receive)

    [ID #791]

    View Policy Document
  3. Subsequent Action

    June 27, 2019

    On June 27, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the New York district court's injunction blocking the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census on APA grounds. Department of Commerce v. New York, SCOTUS 18-966.  California and Maryland district courts had also ruled against the government. See California v. Ross (N.D. Cal.), Case No. 3:18-cv-01865; Kravitz v. U.S. Dept. of Commerce (D. Maryland), Case No. 8:18-cv-01041.

    **Litigation is listed for informational purposes and is not comprehensive. For the current status of legal challenges, check other sources.**

    2019.06.27 Department of Commerce v. New York
  4. Subsequent Action

    July 11, 2019

    On July 11, 2019, the federal government announced it would not include a citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

Subject Matter: Citizenship
Agencies Affected: DOJ Other

Prior Policies

  • There are two census questionaires: a long form and a short form. The short form is sent to every household and the long form is sent to 1 in 6 households. The short form census has not had a question about citizenship since 1950 (which asked "If foreign born- is he naturalized?". Since 1950, the short form census questionaire has not included any questions about citizenship. The long form questionaire has had questions about citizenship up until 2010.

    NPR Report

Subsequent Actions

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