CDE Hosted Virtual ‘Census 2020 Symposium’

Following UW-Madison’s move to fully remote work in mid-March due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, CDE decided to hold its planned March 24th symposium on Census 2020 online – a first for CDE amidst our changing landscape. We were delighted that approximately 216 individuals from around the country (and a few from other countries!) logged on to watch the presentations. This event was co-sponsored by the Applied Population Laboratory, the La Follette School of Public Affairs, and the Wisconsin Research Data Center.

The symposium highlighted issues related to the collection and use of Census data over time and included three talks by leading experts. Steve Ruggles (University of Minnesota), gave a keynote address, entitled “’It’s None of Their Damn Business’: Privacy and Disclosure Control in the U.S. Census, 1790-2020” (co-authored by Diana Magnuson [Bethel University]). Michael Hawes (U.S. Census Bureau) gave an on-the-ground report about the current Census in his talk, “Once, Only Once, and in the Right Place: Updates on the 2020 Census.” Finally, Margo Anderson (UW-Milwaukee) provided a useful historical perspective in her presentation on “The Ghosts of Census Past and Their Relevance for 2020.”

Mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census has provided a complete count of the total U.S.population every 10 years since 1790. These data are critical for understanding demographic change, for apportioning congressional seats, and for allocating federal dollars to states and communities. We hope you have all filled out your Census form!

To view a recording of the event, click here.