June 20th 2019 - Written by: Suzan Reagan

State Data Center Annual Conference Notes 2019

Last week I attended the National State Data Center Conference held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Census Bureau had a packed schedule with lots of information on the upcoming 2020 Decennial Census. Here are highlights that you might find interesting.

First we had an update on the addition of the Citizen Question. As you might expect, there is a lot of interest in how this might impact response rates. The Census Bureau will be doing a 2019 Census Test survey to determine this. The survey started this June and is planned to run through August with July 1, 2019 as the Census day. The 2019 Census Test will be conducted nationwide, surveying approximately 480,000 housing unit addresses with forms with the question and without. Information on this test can be found at (https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2019/2019-test-begins.html).

While I’m not personally involved with the Redistricting program, I’d like to highlight that James Whitehorne, the Chief of the Census Redistricting & Voting Rights Data Office, presented information on this important program. For data users, there are samples of the file formats and data elements that will be released for 2020 at (https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial-census/about/rdo/program-management.html#) if you scroll to the bottom. Also note that on data releases from Redistricting, it will include Tables P1- Race, P2- Race for the Population 18 Years and Over, P3- Hispanic or Latino, and not Hispanic or Latino by Race, P4 -Hispanic or Latino, and not Hispanic or Latino by Race for the Population 18 and Over, H1- Occupancy Status (Housing) and one new table P5- Group Quarters Population by Group Quarters Type. This information will help those of you who wish to write programs that will work with this data.

For those of you who attended last year’s NM Data Users Conference, you might remember that we had Vicki Glasier present on Statistics in Schools. She presented at this conference too. The new information I’ve brought back is that an administrators packet will be mailed out to each school in the U.S. this fall. If you are interested in sharing with your schools and teacher friends, I recommend (www.census.gov/schools). You can send requests and questions to (statsinschools@census.gov).

We had a presentation on 2020 Census Non-English Language Support. They have a language Identification Card product which will be given to enumerators and partners who are helping people fill out the census form.

We had an engaging presentation from Anthony Calabrese, Digital Marketing Lead, CLMSO Census Bureau, on E-Mail Marketing and the click through experience. If you are interested in the E-mail campaign or just want to subscribe to the many data channels, you can do that here (https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/USCENSUS/subscriber/new?).

Also, we had a presentation on Census Bureau Data Gems. These are short video’s that show how to access Census Data. There is even a Data Gem highlighting the SDC program. Check out Data Gems at (https://www.census.gov/academy). While you are there you can also see the course that the Census Bureau has available.

During the conference there was a release of the dynamic Complete Count Committee (CCC) map (https://www.census.gov/library/visualizations/interactive/2020-complete-count-committees.html).  All Census presenters mentioned that the data shown in this product needed review, and we were encouraged to send feedback when we found issues. For those of you working with CCC, review the map and see if all of NM participants are showing up! The Tag line for this Census is “Shape your future START HERE> {US Census Bureau Logo}” More on how to use the logo is available from our NM Partnership Specialists.

The Census Bureau will finish hiring Partnership Specialists by the end of June. Nationwide there will be 1,501 Partnership Specialists who will be tasked to work with CCC by providing them with training and promotional support. Don’t forget to let people know that the Census Bureau is hiring the nationwide link is (https://2020census.gov/en/jobs) and for New Mexico specific, try (https://www.census.gov/about/regions/denver/jobs/new-mexico.html ).

Finally, we had a presentation on Differential Privacy and one on Proposed 2020 Census Data Products. I cover these two together because one impacts the other. The Census Bureau plans on protecting our confidential data. On the one hand, I applaud the work they are doing. However, the new proposed disclosure avoidance may suppress data and data products that we had for 2010 and ACS 2017. I’m especially worried for rural areas. For more information, I suggest reading up at (https://www.census.gov/about/policies/privacy/statistical_safeguards/disclosure-avoidance-2020-census.html). One of the biggest suggested changes is to not publish the Demographic Profiles down to Census Tract level but just to the place. Another is to not publish PUMS. These discussion remain unresolved and there will be further information on both these topics for the next two years. If you want more information on the Data Products, read the operational document section 5.6.1 Data Products and Dissemination (https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/decennial/2020/program-management/planning-docs/2020-oper-plan4.pdf).

There was so much information shared I’m sure to have missed a few points. As always, if you have questions or want to discuss any of the topics here please feel free to contact me at UNM Data Bank (505) 277-6626.


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