From the Director
Census 2020: The Citizenship Question
Census 2020 will soon be underway and it is still unclear whether or not it will contain the citizenship question. Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution required that a census of the population be conducted within three years of the first meeting of the U.S. Congress, and then every ten years hence. Census data are used to apportion representatives from the states to the U.S. House of Representatives, to draw political districts, and to allocate federal, state, and local funds. Although the Framers of the Constitution called for an enumeration by a full count of “free Persons,” they also called for counting only three-fifths of all other persons. Amendment XIV to the U.S. Constitution was passed in 1868, and provided that Representatives are to be apportioned by counting “the whole number of persons,” except for “Indians not taxed,” in each state. Although special censuses were conducted of Native Americans, it was not until 1924 that they were granted citizenship by Federal statute, and since then have been included in the decennial census.Read more
Rubén Martinez, Ph.D.