The government will release the next round of 2020 census data on Aug. 12, Census Bureau officials said Thursday.
The files will show how the ethnic, racial and voting-age makeup of neighborhoods have shifted over the past decade. It is the data most state legislatures use to redraw political districts for the next 10 years.
The data will be released in a raw, “legacy” format to allow states to start using it immediately for redistricting. A more user-friendly version is planned to go public Sept. 30.
The release was originally scheduled for April but was delayed after the coronavirus pandemic forced the bureau to postpone data collection and processing by several months. After Alabama sued over the delay, the bureau promised to provide redistricting data by Aug. 16.
The release comes amid concerns over the survey’s quality due to pandemic-related delays and the Trump administration’s attempts to add a citizenship question and block undocumented immigrants from being counted for apportionment of House seats.
An outside task force from the American Statistical Association has been working inside the bureau to observe and assess its processes. The ASA said Thursday that it will release a report on state-level apportionment numbers a few weeks after the release of the redistricting files. Apportionment data, released in April, determines the number of House representatives each state gets in the coming decade.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved President Joe Biden’s nominee for director of the Census Bureau, Robert Santos, by a vote of 10 to 3, putting him a step closer to full Senate confirmation.
Santos is president of the ASA and vice president and chief methodologist at the Urban Institute. If confirmed, Santos, who is Latino, will be the first person of color to serve as a permanent director at the bureau.