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Would Top Census Officials Hand Over Citizenship Status Data?

“No,” says a former chief demographer; they would resign before allowing the Trump administration to violate the confidentiality prized by Census Bureau culture.
A census letter mailed to a resident in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2018 as part of a test run of the 2020 census.
A census letter mailed to a resident in Providence, Rhode Island, in 2018 as part of a test run of the 2020 census.Michelle R. Smith/AP

Amidst news that the U.S. Department of Justice is considering possibly challenging the confidentiality mandate for census data, retired Census Bureau Chief Demographer Howard Hogan wants you to understand the culture among Census Bureau staff. There are three things that bureau staff prioritizes, according to Hogan: accuracy, confidentiality, and nonpartisanship.

Lecturing at the University of Pittsburgh last week on how the census measures race and ethnicity, on the confidentiality question Hogan was, well, confident that this would not be breached.