Tips and Documentation

Differentially Private Census Data

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New from Minnesota Population Center IPUMS
Differentially Private Census Data
To help data users assess the impacts of differential privacy, the Census Bureau has released 2010 demonstration data products, which supply differentially private versions of 2010 data. To facilitate comparisons between the original and differentially private 2010 data, we provide both versions joined together in a simplified format through the links below.
Find it here: https://www.nhgis.org/differentially-private-2010-census-data

Letter on Differential Privacy and the Impacts on Public Data Products

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The steering committees of the Census Information Centers (CIC), Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates (FSCPE), and State Data Centers (SDC) transmitted a letter, on Nov. 27, 2019, to Census Director Dillingham. This letter outlines our questions and concerns regarding the Census Bureau’s move to a new Differential Privacy Disclosure Avoidance System (DAS).

Joint letter on Differential Privacy

Webinar: 2020 Census demonstration data: Privacy and accuracy issues, Dec. 4

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The Census State Data Centers steering committee is organizing a webinar for Dec. 4, titled: 2020 Census demonstration data: Privacy and accuracy issues.

When: Wed., December 4, 2:00 Eastern (11:00 Pacific). The webinar will be 90 minutes.

You can view the webinar recording here.

Presentation slidedecks are now available:

Presenters for this webinar are:

  • Jan Vink, research specialist at Cornell Program on Applied Demographics
  • Dave Van Riper, spatial analysis director at Univ of Minnesota Population Center
  • Beth Jarsoz, demographer at Population Reference Bureau
  • Todd Graham, principal demographer at Metropolitan Council of the Twin Cities.

Thanks to Jenn Shultz, Pennsylvania State Data Center for hosting this webinar meeting.

You can view the webinar recording here.

What Partners CAN AND CANNOT Do to Support Self-Response in the 2020 Census

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This post was contributed by US Census Bureau, Communications Directorate. 
A PDF version of this info sheet is available here.

For the first time, people will be able to respond to the Census online from anywhere, anytime. We already have thousands of partners working to ensure a complete and accurate count, including 2020 Census partners as well as tribal, state and local governments. The use of technology on the 2020 Census provides new opportunities to support people responding to the 2020 Census, including the ability to respond without a Census-provided identification code.

The Census Bureau welcomes this support from our partners, including:

  • Encouraging response to the Census in the mailed or hand-delivered materials from the Census Bureau;
  • Providing secure links to 2020census.gov, where people can easily respond to the 2020 Census;
  • Providing language assistance (e.g., helping a non-English speaking respondent log in to the Internet response questionnaire in the appropriate language);
  • Helping disabled people (e.g., helping a visually-impaired individual dial the appropriate telephone number to provide their responses);
  • Encouraging people to call the 2020 Census phone line to respond in English or in any of the other 12 languages available for self-response;
  • Providing access to computers and tablets at kiosks, conferences, public events, community centers, healthcare facilities, places of worship, shopping areas, and other locations so that people can respond to the Census Bureau Internet Self-Response website on the spot;
  • As always, helping people understand that responding to the 2020 Census is important and safe.

A key principle for the 2020 Census is our obligation to ensure we protect the public’s answers to the census. While we welcome assistance, for security and confidentiality reasons there are several things we do NOT want local partners, or tribal, state and local governments, to do.

No one other than Census Bureau employees should go door-to-door to collect information for the 2020 Census. Doing so could create confusion for households that have already responded or those who must be interviewed by census takers because they have not yet responded to the census. Although the majority of our census enumerators will be in the field beginning in May for the Non-Response Follow-Up operation, we will have enumerators working on a variety of operations throughout the entire self-response period.

Door-to-door canvassing may actually discourage response because it elevates concerns by residents of a potential scam, intrusion or other nefarious activity. A key component of our communications effort is to raise awareness of how to identify an official census enumerator. If the public is not sure who is knocking on their door, they will not answer.

We also do NOT want partners to:

  • Encourage anyone to respond to the census on behalf of a household that they are not part of (e.g., it is illegal to fill out a census response for your neighbor’s house, even if you believe they did not respond);
  • Create websites or apps designed to directly collect 2020 Census response data;
  • Collect data over the phone or in person with the intention of submitting to the Census Bureau.

Data collected by census takers employed by the Census Bureau is protected under Title 13 of the US Code. Census employees take an oath to ensure that respondent information is used for statistical purposes only and not for any other reason. Census employees cannot share information with anyone else, including law enforcement – not the FBI, ICE or even local police.

2020 Count Review webinar

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This is a recording of the webinar “Address Data File Preparation: Tips and Best Practices”. It was presented for the 2020 Count Review program.

Thanks to the presenters -Jeff Hardcastle, Mike Mohrman, Jan Vink, and Sue Copella. The transcript is also attached. CRO – Address Data Prep Webinar 030719 – transcript

Participant Statistical Areas Program Webinar

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In this webinar, December 18, 2018, SDC members provide information on the Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP). Kim Korejko and Ben Gruswitz of Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission focused on the details of the PSAP program and how it worked during 2010 for their agency and how it is expected to proceed this round.  Bob Coats with the NC Office of State Budget and Management approached PSAP activities from a State Data Center perspective and how SDC’s might support PSAP activities.

This webinar is the sixth in a series of Plan to Plan for 2020 webinars organized by the SDC Steering Committee and hosted by the SDC Program.

Presentation materials are provided here:

Due to technical difficulties a recording of the presentations is unavailable.

Complete Count Committees webinar

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In this webinar, SDC members from three states provide updates and lessons on “standing up” their Complete Count Committees. They provided information about the Committee structures, activities, budget, and the particular SDC role.

This webinar is the fifth in a series of Plan to Plan for 2020 webinars organized by the SDC Steering Committee and hosted by the SDC Program. (October 3, 2018)

Presentation materials are provided here:

The WebEx recording is available here: https://census.webex.com/census/ldr.php?RCID=84893a73a8b62e2d7a7ce4344d405ee3