Expert Commentary

A graphic guide to the 2020 US census

To help you understand what to watch out for as the 2020 census gets underway, comics journalist Josh Neufeld created this graphic guide to the decennial count.

census 2020


Sources and additional resources:

· This piece is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For educators, editors and anyone else who would like to republish it in print, we are providing access to a high-resolution PDF here: Download the PDF.

· A related research roundup summarizes several studies that examine how census undercounts can hurt U.S. communities. The roundup includes the study that provided the information for the belt-tightening panel in the comic strip.

· “Estimating the Effect of Asking About Citizenship on the U.S. Census” is a Shorenstein Center discussion paper in which researchers find that “asking about citizenship status significantly increases the percent of questions skipped, with particularly strong effects among Hispanics, and makes respondents less likely to report having members of their household who are of Hispanic ethnicity.” The paper provided the information for the bar chart in the comic strip.

· “Can Cities Save the Census? A Local Framework for Our Nation’s First Digital Count” is a Shorenstein Center discussion paper that “provides a framework for understanding the challenges ahead and the ways in which cities can uniquely impact their own counts.”

· The Government Accountability Office’s 2019 High Risk List includes programs and operations deemed risky “due to their vulnerabilities to fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, or that need transformation.”

· These 7 tips for covering the US census are meant to help bolster news coverage of the decennial event.