Young People May Avoid US Census

Some groups may avoid participation in the 2020 Census, which could considerably alter its outcome. That, in turn, could affect government funding for some parts of the country, and potentially some programs. Young people are least likely to participate in the Census, along with Blacks, Hispanics, and lower-income Americans.

A new survey by Pew Research shows, among those questioned, “16% express at least some uncertainty about responding, with higher shares saying this among some demographic groups.” The number rises to 34% of people ages 18 to 29 who “might or might not, probably will not, or definitely will not” participate.

Next among the groups who say they may decide not to be participate were Black adults at 26%, and Hispanics at 21%. Among White adults, the figure was 12%.

Based on income 24% of those with family incomes below $30,000 may avoid participation. This contrasts with 8% of those who make over $75,000.

Why do some people in the groups who may not participate have reluctance? “Adults who are black or Hispanic, those who are younger and those with lower income levels are less convinced of the importance of the census and its benefits for their community.” This, in turn, could affect accuracy, “The lower the self-response rate, the more the Census Bureau spends on sending employees to knock on the doors of nonresponding households, and the responses could be less accurate.”

Methodology: The American Trends Panel (ATP), created by Pew Research Center, is a nationally representative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults. Panelists participate via self-administered web surveys. Panelists who do not have internet access at home are provided with a tablet and wireless internet connection. The panel is being managed by Ipsos. Data in this report are drawn from the panel wave conducted September 16 to September 29, 2019. A total of 6,878 panelists responded out of 7,347 who were sampled, for a response rate of 93.6%.