Planning for the 2030 Census

June 24, 2022
  • Registration & Records
  • census
United States Map filled with people.

AACRAO recently hosted a Webinar in conjunction with the U.S. Census Bureau to discuss the 2020 Census count and some of the specific challenges impacting institutions and their enumeration responses amid the pandemic. 

The shift to distance learning due to the COVID-19 outbreak forced students living both on- and off-campus to return home, complicating the bureau's 2020 enumeration operations. As a result of the pandemic, the bureau suspended field operations and modified its efforts to ensure college students displaced from their dorms or off-campus housing because of the coronavirus were counted as living at school, an important consideration for federal benefits for the regions around campuses. 

Dora Durante, Chief of Special Enumerations Branch, Decennial Census Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau, and Judy G. Belton, Assistant Division Chief, Special Enumerations Decennial Census Management Division, U.S. Census Bureau, provided an overview of some of the issues related to that shift, which caused many institutions to alter the methods traditionally used to respond—moving from methods that allow student self-response to campus officials reporting information on behalf of the student using administrative records.

Your Feedback is Important

In anticipation of the forthcoming 2030 Census, Ms. Durante and Ms. Belton asked AACRAO members to provide feedback on the process or processes that their institutions used to provide information for the 2020 Census count. As well as other issues or concerns that could impact the Group Quarters enumeration, such as state or other local laws or regulations that constrain or limit the types of student information that a college or university may provide to the Census Bureau. For example, the state of Virginia recently passed legislation that includes stronger protections for student information that may be listed as directory information. 

AACRAO created a survey on behalf of the Census Bureau to allow members to share their specific concerns and issues, as well as successes. Please complete the survey by Friday, July 1, 2022. The survey results will help inform and improve the Census Bureau's data collection process and minimize any undue burdens for stakeholders.