In the wake of a 2020 Census that was marred by questions about political interference and undercounting of minority groups, new Census Bureau director Robert Santos is facing a daunting challenge: how to correct the mistakes of the past while instilling trust in future Census counts. In an interview with the New York Times, Santos was confident that together with the career staff, they will be able to orchestrate a successful 2030 count.
While Santos admitted that there was a large undercount for people of color, Santos delineated ways to avoid the said mistake in the next census in his interview with The New York Times:
“We are looking at ways of expanding the use of administrative records. They tend to be useful for populations that are easier to count and for the historically hard-to-count population.
Secondly, we need to build a stronger relationship with all communities, especially communities of color. There has been a lot of mistrust that has built up over the past five years or so, and we need to much more directly get into communities and talk to people and work with communities to do two things.
One is to provide them with information from the Census Bureau that can show them how they can improve their communities, identify problems and address them with data sets, data-driven decision making.
And the second is by providing something to the community over the course of the decade. Then when the census comes around, it’s not a sudden surge of “OK, trust us and let’s go please participate.”