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Diane W. Schanzenbach and Michael R. Strain

Act Now to Save the 2020 Census

Bad budget planning and a lack of leadership threaten the most basic mission of government.
Count the boxes.

Count the boxes.

Photographer: George Rose/Getty Images

You may have missed the news that the head of the Census Bureau, John Thompson, resigned a few months ago.

In normal circumstances, the departure of a government statistician would not be worth highlighting. But Thompson’s departure adds to the growing uncertainty surrounding the success of the 2020 decennial census. About that, you should worry.