tv 2020 Census CSPAN April 23, 2018 8:32pm-9:38pm EDT
advocate for students nationally. during the conversation at # landmark cases and follow us at c-span. we have resources on a website or background on each case. the landmark cases companion book, a link to the national constitution center's interactive constitution, in the landmark cases podcast at c-span .org/landmark cases. >> next, former us census bureau john thompson is part of a discussion on the upcoming 2020 senses. part of the conversation focused on a proposed question resolving the enterprise institute organize this event.
>> good afternoon. the senior fellow here at ai and the like to welcome all of you and our c-span audience to the session on making the 2020 senses succeed. when asked if i can moderate today's event i responded enthusiastically. i know it is virtually impossible for many of my colleagues to do the important work they do without the data the census provides. the same is true for
policymakers and for the business community across the country. any opportunity to talk about the value of our premier agency is. there are additional reasons for having this panel discussion now and with just herself for the date the census is underway in rhode island. this is the only place for the census is running of the test as it didn't have the funds to run tests in other cities. underfunding is a serious issue. there are concerns that i hope our panelists will touch on today that and challenges to the census and future ones in addition to the underfunding. public concerns about information security and privacy as we learned last week and declining response rates and information that explosion and rapidly changing technologies, different linkage requirements for a diverse population, complex living maintenance and finally a mobile population. this is the first census that will have an online option. finally there is in the census the inclusion of a question on
citizenship status and what that could do for the response rate. i hope our panelists talk on these issues today. let me say a word about each one of them. they speak for five or seven minutes and then will have an open conversation. john thompson will speak first as executive director of the executive council on federal statistics. he introduced the directors blog which i read whenever it appears. he was formally president of an orc at the university of chicago. diane is director of the institute for policy research in the faculty fellow of northwestern. she has also a research fellow and director of the hamilton project at brookings. next is the manager of the
heritage foundation law reform initiative and a senior legal follow. he writes about civil rights, election integrity, immigration and government regulation. he served for two years at the federal election commission and before that worked at the justice department. michael, my colleague here at ai is director of economic policy studies here and the john g scholar at ai. he received a broad portfolio all of the institutes work and economic policy, financial markets, poverty studies, text policy, healthcare policy. he works at the census bureau. we begin today with john thompson. >> thank you very much. i'm delighted to be here. michael had asked me to go five minutes and the census in context to describe the readiness. i will attempt to do that.
i think everyone knows the census is constitutionally mandated, article one, section two but it has a number of uses including a portion of the congress, drawing other districts but congressional districts, and local voting districts. it is used to allocate over $600 million a year of federal funds annually. it is essential for state, local and tribal governments to make many decisions. it supports business investments in local communities and finally it is used to ensure the accuracy of virtually every demographic survey collected in the united states which include the current population survey which produces month to month changing unemployment and the american community survey.
right there so many concerns that the accuracy of the census because of the important uses to talk about the t-20 census readiness. i think it is important to understand that the census process has evolved in some ways and in others it has not. beginning in 1970 census bureau went to a male back senses. the process has essentially been used until today and that is you prepare an address list and mail it back and electronically capture the information off the paper questionnaires and then you collect the information from those households that do not self respond. until today that operation has been planned console. as our country has grown more diverse over the years since 1970 the only way that up for an pencil operation can be employed
is you pass to have more and more people to it. that is why if you look at the cost of the census over the years they go faster than any rate of inflation and faster than population. again, it's because are using for pencil operation to do something that is very difficult. for the t-20 census the idea was to modernize and use automation intelligence and that went from developing the address list using modern geospatial technologies see don't have to walk every street in the country to using the internet as the primary response option in the census bureau realizes that they don't have access to the internet and they provide those households up for questionnaire. they also allow people to call in for the first time and give their information over the phone. importantly though the census
bureau is using automation and mobile technology to play the workforce to collect the information from those households that don't self respond. they will be using iphones and ipads to do this. it introduces tremendous efficiencies into the operation. in fact, the census bureau put estimated and 14 that if they received the resources they needed they could have reduced the cost of collecting the d census from 17 billion which the cost of repeating the return process in 2022 little over billion and that would have been the $5 million savings. however, if you look at the amount of money that the census bureau asks for in the amount they received that the census bureau was underfunded by $200 million. this forced the census bureau to make a number of decisions and
they had to defer some operations and you just heard that they reduced three tests for their end to end test to one which is a function of this. they also had to defer -- this is to print and we can talk later but they had to defer activities on their combined advertising and partnership program which is essentially how they achieve accuracy in the census. the good news is that the census bureau in their fy 18 budget did receive more money than they asked for. over $1 million and this indicates bipartisan support, i believe, for the census bureau and will help them tremendously to overcome the difficulties that might be imposed on them. the small and there will be a continuing resolution. it was a very, very good move.
the census bureau still needs more in my opinion. finally, let me conclude by noting that recently the census commerce secretary decided to add a citizenship question to the census and i and five other directors of the census bureau have written a letter just publicly available expressing our concern that the f is that we don't believe that for myself right now but i don't believe there has been adequate testing of such a question in a contemporary census environment and there is a great risk to including it on the census and as i said and undercount the results in a census will be with the census bureau for ten years. it will be there until 2030 and those uses i mentioned will be underrepresented. it's very important that we have an accurate census. with that i conclude.
>> let me just ask a question in response. can you tell us about how the dress personal is going? >> well, i was at the census bureau project management review and they mentioned at the time that their self response rate was at 36% and they said that was on track which is what were looking for. the next big step in the census bureau said that their automation was ready to go. we need to see the automation and how it works and it does have to work and the good news there is that the gao will be there looking at it independently and writing a public report. everyone will know how it went. >> thank you, john. introductory remarks. >> thank you so much for it is a pleasure to be back here. michael and i wrote a paper along with co-authors about a year ago where we try to lay out a framework for why it is so important to have well-functioning census bureau and other statistical agencies.
it's important the united states and i know michael and i will talk about that. in terms of the census we know it's accurate and it's crucial to deny dates for number of reasons. it determines the number of seats each state has an house of representatives but it also affects the distribution of billions of dollars in federal funding every year. for infrastructure, vital services like hospitals and schools but of course we are facing increasing challenges to collecting the census. the increasing cultural linguistic and economic city makes it harder to go out and survey everyone enumerate everyone. lay on top of that the increasing distrust of the government. as our we know in the past we have cost overruns and we have an innovative plan to keep the accuracy high but reduced cost this time and still implementing
a range of new data collection in the 20 census including this new internet telephone response option as well as the traditional paper questionnaires which will hopefully make a lot of things more streamlined down the road. by making these smart investments in technology and messaging and advertisement and so on to accurately count population that is increasingly hard to count sons but of course we need to make those investments today not in two years now. if you wait until it's too late we will pour a lot more money on the problem to make sure we get up to the accuracy that we need. the first time we are modernizing the census and we need these tests. we have already scaled back some of these tests in is very important that those are conducted with fidelity and that
we can troubleshoot. it's something that were not just talking undercounting. and it's not just immigrants although to be sure as i project adding the citizenship question will increase the cost of this because more people will not want to answer this but we also need to worry about discounting the elderly. we are moving now to something that involves the internet and it is predictable who will be left behind to participate in that. also the statisticians tell us that it's difficult to count people who have multiple residences and if you don't do that with great fidelity we will end up with not just undercounting but miscarried people and that could have real
consequences not only for the number of people in the representatives but also on dollars spent. to conclude we heard about the need? investments today and i agree the census bureau has been underfunded and we are concerned about leadership in the census bureau and it has long benefited from bipartisan high qualified to ship and we need to make sure that we fill this role with someone that's highly qualified and nonpartisan that will be respected on both sides of the aisle. >> diane, you mentioned the online or internet option in dc that as enhancing participation or are you worried that -- >> it should and this is well time that we modernize the census and use this approach but it will require a lot of testing and understanding can we reach better and we have to follow up with. >> privacy concerns? >> will get into that pressure.
>> i want to thank you for inviting me to be here today. michael asked me to talk about the greatest controversy over the census recently and that's the announcement at the end of march to have a citizenship question to the census. i think a lot of the criticism against the administration is unfair and unwarranted. in fact those criticisms are wrong and i want to give you a quote from the president. the president is correct when he says this. the purpose for more exactly distinguishing the increase of population by birth and immigration we should no, quote, the respective numbers of citizens and foreign birth and aliens. all of you think that i have just quoted president donald trump. you are incorrect. i was just quoting president thomas jefferson and he said that in 1800 and in 1820 the census followed that recommendation and added a
citizenship question to the census on quote, foreigners not naturalized. give you that effective history because if you listened to some of the hysterical claims by opponents of the coverage in the paper you would not realize that what the trump administration is doing is not adding but reinstating a citizenship question on the census. the question was consistently asked on different census until 1950 when the us census bureau switched to sending out a short form and long form and those of you who are older and the audience will remember that at about one in six households used to to get the long form as opposed to the short form. the long-term had a citizenship question on it. it was demonstrated by the long form from the 2017 which is not that long ago. after that census it was discontinued in the census bureau switched to and this was
sent out continuously but it only goes to one out of 38 households. it only provides basically estimates of demographic characteristics which make the use nationwide problematic. the acs which has been used today as always had a citizenship question on it and if you want to unload the 2018 form you will find the citizenship question on the acs and what the commerce department says it will do is add the very same citizenship question back onto the census and keep in mind it did not ask you whether you were legally here or not but it simply asks are you a citizen of the united states. it's important for everyone to know there's a federal law that bars in the census bureau from sharing individualized information from the census with
any other government agency or publicizing it and that's a criminal violation of the law if they do that. the fear that somehow this information will get sent to dhs for example is not true. by the way when i hear people talk about how this will make the response rate go down there is no evidence that will make the response rate go down. no evidence that it caused a response to go down to the aca and if you look at it it has a lot more interest of questions on it. i can give you samples if you want to later that would upset people a lot more than a citizenship question. by the way, if you look at the memo that was put out by the commerce department you will see that they talk with former deputy director at the nielsen polling firm who told commerce that when they add a citizenship question they have seen quote, no decrease in response rate.
another quote from there that i think is correct and this is from kevin -- even if there is impact on responses the value of more complete and accurate data derived from surveying the entire population outweighs such concern. it only goes to one out of 38000. census data as you heard was used for everything from enforcing the voting rights act were citizenship data is essential to the distribution of federal funding. look, we've been in a contentious debate over immigration policy for ten years. does anyone doubt that we should have accurate data on the citizenship population if we want to have an informed debate about it and come up with a remedy? finally, what i know will surely make the opponents of the
administration in adding this question grind their teeth is that the trump administration is following recommendations made by the united nations. if you look at their principles and recommendations for population and housing sentences 2017 you'll find that they recommend a citizenship question on their census survey and in countries ranging from australia to germany to indonesia all ask this question on their census only in the us is this considered controversial and it should not be. >> thank you. expect you will get disagreement from our next panelist, michael. >> typically one of the problems is that there's not much left to say but that's another segue to provide the contrasting view on the citizenship question. i'm concerned about the impact
of the citizenship question on a response rate. we don't currently ask about it and it's also that the survey is much less salient exercise in data collection than the census. it has found evidence that people in immigrant and minority communities today are concerned about the 2020 census in a way they are not concerned about the american community survey. the reasons for that are easy enough to figure out, i think. first, it's a major undertaking. not on every door and count every person in the government takes a lot of money to advertise the exercise in order to get people to comply with the survey. it's in the constitution and it's something that people notice. people pay much less attention to the american community survey and they should pay less attention. it is hard to map what happens
with the american community survey onto what happens with the census and to expect that people will respond in the same way. it is also true that in conducting the census the census bureau has found that members of immigrant and minority communities are concerned about answering the census at all. this concern was registered before a decision was made about the citizenship question. even apart from other not the 2020 has the citizenship question they have found that members of the minority communities are concerned about answering the 2020 census. the reasons for that are not terribly hard to understand either. there's been a lot of insight immigrant rhetoric coming from
washington and there's been a lot of anti- immigrant rhetoric coming from the president of the united states both after he took office and when he was presidential candidate. there's been a contentious debate about immigration for sure and the status of the dreamers and all sorts of things have led to this moment where people in some immigrant and minority communities are concerned about answering questions in general and it is quite reasonable based on the evidence we have to conclude that they will be even more reticent to answer a government form that asks about their citizenship status. why should we care? an important reason is that if people are less likely to answer the question the cost of the census goes way up. the census is in the constitution and the bureau does not have a choice about whether or not it attempts to enumerate the population.
that means if you don't answer the online form or don't fill out your form the census bureau does not say we tried our best but instead they send someone to your house and knock on the door and say i'm here from the government and i have questions for you. that doesn't go over well all the time people slam the door and the bureau doesn't say we tried her best. it's in someone back. if you won't answer the questions and the ask your neighbor to say how many people live in this house. it cost money and if we want to keep the cost of the cost under control we should not put the quinces on the census that will make it more necessary to send more people to gather this information in person. it also affects the accuracy of the census and that has ripple effects for the next ten years. the 2020 census will be used to?
the current population survey in the american community survey and other demographic and economic surveys for years and years and years. any small errors in that benchmarking will be with us for a decade and a small errors compound over time. very important decisions are made using designated sources. decisions about interest rates and if the federal reserve and the current preparations rate miss measures on appointment a little bit and the fed tightens to past or the economy runs hot too long billions and billions of dollars are at stake. if social security which adjusts its payments based on inflation if those inflation measures are off just a little bit billions and billions of dollars arctic. private-sector businesses rely
on data that are benchmarked against the consensus to decide where to open distribution centers and what items to put on store shelves and to make all critical decisions. if the data we are relying on is a little inaccurate then those cost to the business compound over time. small errors have big effects when you consider how important the census is when you consider how long we have to live with it. again, another reason not to introduce inaccuracy by including a citizenship question. those are the costs of potentially including this question and i don't see much of one at all and we have accurate and valid information that comes from other less visible data sources and we have data to rely on that from decades and decades and so to me there is no clear
reason to do this and when you have a proposition where there's very little if benefit in significant cost that says we shouldn't do that particular thing. my hope is that congress intervenes and keeps a question off the census and i think it would be better for business and policymakers. ultimately better for taxpayers if that and that being the case. >> thank you, mike. john and diane i want you to jump in but a first a few questions for hans. how you respond to mike's points about the acs and the cost in the accuracy and benefits? >> the problem with the acs is that it only goes one to 38 households and they do estimating and extrapolating how it applies to the rest of the
country. that causes problems in, for example, enforcement of voting rights act and we worked at the justice department for four years and forcing the act and that's important is this because if you are enforcing section two of the voting right acts which prevents and prohibits racial discrimination in voting and you are, for example, filing a lawsuit against a state or county or city claiming that they have diluted the vote by the way they have hacked particular districts in you are suing on behalf of of hispanic voters while, for coming up with a remedy your remedy is to come up with a district in which minority voters and elect their candidate of choice. ...
6% hispanic population isn't going to give you the majority of the voters. it's essential to have citizenship because it goes a limited number of households and doesn't put enough data to do that. you don't have to believe me about that. you can look at the supreme court's decision where this was an issue and that the court talked about the lack of data in this area. i would repeat the department said which is there is no empirical evidence that this is going to cause any kind of significant downturn in the response rate and if it did, we would know about it from the acs and produced no such data.
what you'would you like to joine conversation? >> i would like to make a couple of points. number one, the fury and i think we've realized is that it was replaced because it was going to produce more accurate data so they have two products, one comes out every year and another comes out on average over five years and i'm using the term average but you can think of it as a five-year average and that produces data for small areas that have the same level so the survey produces the data tha dat is the same quality for citizenship that we have observed since 1950 and we've been able to do that. i think i will stop there.
my primary concern is about the accuracy overall and it sounds like they disagree about whether this will drive up cost, but i think this adds significant risk to buy the argument this will reduce the accuracy or drive up the cost and i think the benefit of what we did over and above the survey is quite wrong. >> i don' >> i don't think i have much more to add to. it's difficult to compare. most people don't have any idea that the survey is happening. everybody understands that the census is happening. the bureau doesn't stand
millions of dollars to help with compliance on the community survey in the same way that they do with the census bureau that found local community leaders in the minority communities like other similar leaders in some cases telling people in their communities not to answer the census because of some of the anti-immigrant rhetoric that's come from washington generally that doesn't happen with the community survey. it gives us the information that we need to do the slight in force the civilian rights act and the community surveys question on citizenship is as accurate as the previous question asked once every ten years this.
the census hasn't included a question on citizenship in decades, and we've come by and be a war have not needed to add a citizenship question to the short form in order to enforce over that time as well. i think we have a pretty profound disagreement on that interview with questions in the audience asked what kind of questions it's been asking overtimes in terms of the complexities in the society today, the languages and living arrangements, the mobile population.
you are hitting on something every agency and company that produces the data the population is becoming more diverse a complex to measure. you've also seen questions that have evolved more to measure the populations, so for example the census relationship question now asks questions on same-sex marriage or same-sex partners where it didn't before so there are parallels in the society. and that makes everything more expensive because they have to think about the measures so than
they are very in tuned to the languagetune to thelanguages of. how concerned should americans be about the privacy information security? >> when i was there and still there and they still are, that information is their top priority in terms of building systems, and they work with experts in the field and at the department of homeland securityy and the institutes of science and technology. they work with private sector companies and before any system is implemented it has to undergo
that being said in a word about cybersecuritthe abovecybersecurp being worried you always have to work very hard at that so i felt comfortable the census bureau was addressing the cyber challenges. other comments on this point? >> the census bureau has been very good at keeping the information confidential with one exception i'm a very big exception i'm sure people know people about they ignored the law and used the census data to locate japanese-americans to go after them and that was a violation of the law that shouldn't have happened but it did but that's the only real example of the census breaking
the federal rule federal rules f confidentiality and the consensus data. in my world of survey research, we worry about the declining response rates and wonderful work done by the pew research center's shows for example about 20 years ago there was a 36% average response rate for the public surveys that is now down to about 9% and it's held pretty steady over the last few years and the overall. i wondered if you can give some clues about the response that changed over time and you may be the person we turn to first. >> the soap response dropped off to the 1970s self response rate to from 1990 to 2010 the response rates were more into 65 percentile range.
if you look at surveys like the current population survey which is where the response rate survey that the federal government does you can see a steady drop-off in response since 2010 and it's been a problem for the census bureau and they are working hard to address it but it's getting harder and harder to convince people to respond. >> have you taken surveys about why people are not responding? >> i want to make sure everyone understands when we do public opinion surveys you have to have a benchmark to compare the response and non- response and the benchmark is a census which is all the more reason why it's critically important we get an accurate consensus that the
measuring that all of these other surveys are measured against and is adjusted for when there is not a response it has to be accurate so we get this to the level that we needed to be. >> this often surprises members of the public when i take a look at it from those upset about the community survey they are very upset about the detailed income questions. most people don't like the idea of having to tow the governmente government with their income is. there is a federal statute where if you refuse to answer a set as you could be fined up to $5. some people might think that's worth it but you could be fined
$500 there is some reporting cases that are very old where people were prosecuted by the justice department for a refusing to answer the. we have about 15 minutes left today and it's time to turn to your questions. we can start over here and please, wait for the microphone. >> george washington university. it's the proposal and that there is a process now of the census submitting to the budget the actual census through the paperwork production to approve the 2020 census as i it approves every survey and i think we
should see that announcement in a couple of weeks and the public has 60 days to tell them what they think of this independent census submits it and they get another three days later in the year. if you could just help describe the process to people and the omb power to decide what goes on. there was a law that was passed that may have been wrong but it was legal and the fine fine fort answering the census. it's up to 500,000 because in the 80s, congress passed climate control legislation that
overrode the statutes that were specific to the agencies so it can be fined up to $500,000. the third thing is there is broad evidence regarding fear of respondents to answering questions so there was a presentation with descriptions in great detail that wasn't raised in a level of alarm among the staff that people were lighting and walking out of the room and sweating and this was not mentioned by secretary. so the change in people's attitudes could you respond to that please
>> it requires every information collection to be approved by the office of information and regulatory affairs at the office of management and budget and so the census bureau will put out a questionnaire for public comment and that they will have 60 days sometime around september, october the 12th at the office of information and regulatory affairs.
they've delegated the specific statute that gives the commerce secretary of the power to determine the inquiries on the census form so they don't have a say in it and their claims are without merit. you are talking again about anecdotal evidence. there is no data that shows the reduction response rate and the firm that provided in their surveys they've seen no reduction response rates and i'd send this more than once but i will repeat it has a citizenship
question and if there was any empirical evidence that reduced the response rate, they would have produced and debated. >> any questions in the sigh onf the room? please wait for the microphone. thank you. >> i just want to ask a question. trying to find the census knowing what happened to and what happened on facebook to have you go ahead and open up a window once would be happening in the census bureau would it be some kind of external census
knowing what's happening now? >> is the census prepared for this possibility? >> i think part of the issue for the census bureau is anytime there's a breach of public confidence, it's sort of polls on all of the different agencies including the census bureau said it is going to have a harder job in communicating, which they will. the data that they have is confidential. we need to make the whole thing more productive but alongside that we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to
secure the data. they take the data security seriously so we need to get somebody who is an expert to testify to that. >> and the congressionali'm conl correspondent for the hispanic outlook. two questions about this. the stuff that comes out of the census, number one is the number of latino in the community of hispanics which of course are not a race. we spied a census bureau so how did they come to this i understand just by last names but you get someone like the congressman who says he get
stuff all the time from being a hispanic so how do they determine the hispanic community much less the latino vote and then along with that is for a long time they said they couldn't estimate the numbers of illegal immigrants in the country but suddenly we get people like this number that has not changed by the way despite the so-called record numbers of deportation so how have they arrived at that? >> i can address the hispanic question, so right now the census asks two questions related to that. the first is about hispanic origin and it has different categories to check int and the second asks about race. race the issue of the census bureau had been addressing over the
decade is understanding some of the issues associated with other race categories. they had don have done some sigt research combining the two questions together and they concluded that was the optimum way however they haven't been able to implement that combined question technology because the office of management and budget hasn't changed the standards on race and ethnicity that requires the two questions. >> and self-reported. they are asking people how do you identify. >> it's how anybody chooses to answer the question. it'so individuals choose to ansr the question.
the census bureau when i was there wasn't estimating the illegal population so i would have to be for some of my colleagues. >> that number comes from the department of homeland security and i'm not quite sure how they come up with that number. question here in the middle. >> my question is i think they heard you say there's going to be in electronic distribution for census is that correct? >> online. the census bureau will send out an invitation by e-mail to respond over the internet. they are not going to send e-mails to people saying respond. >> thank you for the
clarification. what intrigued me is there' theo much focus on this legal and illegal question versus the fact that not everyone is electronically literate and that cuts across a lot of populations aging or people who don't have access to computers etc., and i think in this day and age that would have an even bigger impact on the response rate and the scheming of responses >> let me say a little something about that. the census bureau has two ways that they invite people to respond. on his internet first where you get a letter or postcard that says please respond via the
internet and at some point in the process if people don't respond, they will get a paper questionnaire but it's internet first. the second is internet's choice where they identify areas using the community survey and other data aware they believe most people would rather respond by paper and for those areas they mail out a questionnaire and that will be about 20% of the households in the united states will get a questionnaire and have a choice they can either respond by internet or from a paper questionnaire and also if they want to call then they can call and give an interview over the telephone. this is a first for the 2020 census. >> everyone in this room is probably electronically savvy and i would be concerned at the response rate among certain
populations will be hired because we will just go to our computers and respond and other people understand they have these other options but this is quick. >> that's one reason why the end-to-end test is important so we can understand before we field a full 2020 census, who's going to respond and who's not and what cases do they need to send the 30,500,000 to help people respond. in order to make a step forward which is needed for financial to modernize the census many to be able to test and understand the new approach. but we've only got one where we should have had three. >> is a question in the back. >> in your opinion what are the
effects of having the citizenship question. i'm thinking about california. the implement policies to attract for illegal immigrants versus say if you count the illegal immigrant population in california that will get more seats in congress and more votes in the electrical college. what is your opinion about this situation because other states will lose representation with fire -- >> that happens anyway. apportionment is based on total population and again i will remind everyone it's simply asking are you a citizen it doesn't ask illegal or legally. because the census counts total population and because of apportionment means states with
large numbers do get more congressional seats. there's been a number of studies done about this. one of the last ones i saw had an estimate of california for example has between five to six extra congressional seats because of their large population of texas is estimated to have two and there are some states that if the apportionment was based only on citizenship population, they would get an additional seat which they are not getting right now. that's not going to change because of a u.s. citizenship question. that would only change if the law coming at you might have to have a constitutional amendment governing the apportionment was changed. >> it's important to be clear about that last point the constitution is clear the
apportionment of seats in the house is not determined by citizenship is determined by the number of people living there and so including the question it won't affect how it affects accuracy at a debate response rate etc. but knowing with more precision than numbe that of cis in each state doesn't affect how many house seats each state gets which in my view is another reason not to include it. >> question right here and then in the back. >> i struggle a little bit witha chicken and egg problem on the question and responses of course there's a level of fear in the community right now and we know immigrants are one of the undercounted populations in every census.
they automatically say we have an undercounted figure out how much that it seems to me the more we talk about the concern the more people might get scared so you have this sort of chicken and egg where everybody talks about how scared people will be more scared to respond. in the past years there have been efforts by organizations to encourage responses recognizing the wall says it cannot be used to try to advertise that and so one of the questions i have for mr. thompson and others does the census work with other organizations, nonprofits to try to organically support the response and he alleviates some of those fears and how can we sort of balance of this is good to have and whether it does or doesn't he think there's still a valid reason to have everybody counted for every reason you just said how can we encourage
more responses in this age of fear? >> since the 2,000 census they started a program of paid advertising combined with partnership where they hire individuals to go work in local communities and governments with local places and local leaders and get the voices to talk about the importance of the census and the confidentiality. i believe in the last they had approximately 250,000 partners nationally to help them get the word out about the importance of the census, so they are going to do their best to form in as many partnerships as they can. the issue is that it might make it harder for them to get the word out about the confidentiality of this and th
this. >> quick question in the back. >> i wanted to ask if we can end with a happy note because i don't believe most of what is collected is accurate because it is based on voluntary response and so it's kind of like advertising. so, where is the census most accurately and ideally collected and what country and the planet does the best job of getting accurate information and has the best incentives for people to answer accurately? and hell doesn' how does it wore repeat that here? >> i don't know if there is an
answer. my first thought after hearing your question which is a new one, just to point out how simple and sparse the census is from is a very basic question, how many live in this household, what are their races and. which again, you know, the arguments against putting questions on there and that is likely collected quite accurately but some of the hard to reach groups that live in rural areas and are members of the communities, the elderly, people who live in quarters like college dorms, it starts to get
difficult and i think that highlights the need for the census bureau to be adequately fund it in the run-up to the census because that money needs to be spent today in order to make sure that when it comes time to send out the questionnaires and the enumerators to knock on the doors, people know how to get to those hard to reach communities and people who are less likely to answer and get an accurate response from them. >> we've covered an enormous amount of ground in a short period of time i'm sure the panelists will stay to answer any questions you have, but i think that we all want this grade civic engagement project to be an enormous success. i'm adding that the fact that thomas jefferson whom you mentioned that george washington was an undercounted. so it's to be continued. thank you so much for coming.