Census Bureau

Incomplete questionnaires for the 2020 census, including those that leave the controversial citizenship question unanswered, will still be included in the upcoming U.S. headcount, the Census Bureau's top official confirmed Wednesday to lawmakers.

Updated at 10:58 a.m. ET Thursday

Officials from the U.S. Census Bureau and Commerce Department, which oversees the census, are expected to be grilled on Capitol Hill next month about the addition of a controversial citizenship question to the 2020 census form. They are set to appear before lawmakers at a public hearing scheduled for May 8, according to a statement from Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

New York state is leading a group of 17 states, seven cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors in a lawsuit against the Census Bureau and Commerce Department to try to remove a new citizenship question from the 2020 census questionnaire. It comes more than a week after California filed a similar lawsuit in San Francisco federal court against Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the bureau, and Census Bureau officials.

The announcement of the addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 census questionnaire has launched calls for lawsuits, legislation and now multiple congressional hearings. In a letter written to the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which has oversight of the U.S.

Updated on March 28 at 12:30 p.m.

After a controversial decision by the Department of Commerce to add a question about U.S. citizenship to the 2020 census, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the move as nothing out of the ordinary.

The claim

"This is a question that's been included in every census since 1965," Sanders said Tuesday, "with the exception of 2010, when it was removed."

Updated 2:30 a.m. ET Tuesday

The U.S. Commerce Department announced late Monday that it will restore a question about citizenship to the 2020 census questionnaire.

In an eight-page memo Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says the Justice Department has requested that the census ask who is a citizen in order to help determine possible violations of the Voting Rights Act, to help enforce that law.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET Friday

A Census Bureau announcement about the race and ethnicity questions for the 2020 census suggests the Trump administration will not support Obama-era proposals to change how the U.S. government collects information about race and ethnicity, census experts say.

Updated Dec. 6

"White" has been a constant of the U.S. census.

Other racial categories for the national head count have come and gone over the centuries. But "white" has stuck ever since U.S. marshals went door to door by horseback for the first census in 1790, tallying up the numbers of "free white males" and "free white females," plus "all other free persons" and "slaves."

After an outcry from advisers to the U.S. Census Bureau, the federal agency is no longer considering a proposal to remove a question about sexual orientation from a marketing survey for the 2020 Census.

In the 1970s, the nation's Latino advocacy groups had grown fed up with the U.S. Census Bureau. During its 1970 population count, the agency had made a half-hearted attempt to quantify the number of Latinos and Hispanics living in the United States.

America's diversity remains on the rise, with all racial and ethnic minorities growing faster than whites from 2015 to 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau says in a new snapshot of the national population. The agency also found the U.S. median age has risen to nearly 38.

Asian and mixed-race people are the two fastest-growing segments of the U.S. population, the U.S. Census Bureau says. Both groups grew by 3 percent from July 2015 to July 2016. In the same 12 months, the non-Hispanic white population grew by just 5,000 people.

The U.S. Census Bureau has never asked Americans about sexual orientation and gender identity. Last year, though, requests for that data came from more than 75 members of Congress and multiple federal agencies.

Still, the Census Bureau concluded "there was no federal data need" to collect this information, the bureau's outgoing director, John Thompson, wrote in March.

The U.S. Census Bureau published a list on Tuesday of more than 50 planned topics of questions for the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey.

Florida is the second-fastest growing state, taking a back seat to only Texas in the number of newcomers, according to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau.

More Americans are making more money.

The U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers on Tuesday showing that, after a brutal economic recession and years of stagnation, real median household incomes rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 last year. That's a 5.2 percent rise — the first statistically significant increase since 2007.

But, as NPR's Pam Fessler notes, "the median household income was still lower than it was in 2007."

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