Thursday, June 30, 2016
Proposed 2020 Census Residence Criteria and Residence Situations
From the Federal Register:
he Bureau of the Census (U.S. Census Bureau) is providing notification and requesting comment on the proposed “2020 Census Residence Rule and Residence Situations.” In addition, this document contains a summary of comments received in response to the May 20, 2015, Federal Register document, as well as the Census Bureau's responses to those comments. The residence criteria are used to determine where people are counted during each decennial census. Specific residence situations are included with the criteria to illustrate how the criteria are applied.
The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to counting every person in the 2020 Census once, only once, and in the right place. The fundamental reason that the decennial census is conducted is to fulfill the Constitutional requirement (Article I, Section 2) to apportion the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives among the states. Thus, for a fair and equitable apportionment, it is crucial that the Census Bureau counts everyone in the right place during the decennial census.
The residence criteria are used to determine where people are counted during each decennial census. Specific residence situations are included with the criteria to illustrate how the criteria are applied.
1. The Concept of Usual Residence
The Census Act of 1790 established the concept of “usual residence” as the main principle in determining where people were to be counted, and this concept has been followed in all subsequent censuses. “Usual residence” has been defined as the place where a person lives and sleeps most of the time. This place is not necessarily the same as a person's voting residence or legal residence.
Determining usual residence is straightforward for most people. However, given our nation's wide diversity in types of living arrangements, the concept of usual residence has a variety of applications. Some examples include people experiencing homelessness, people with a seasonal/second residence, people in prisons, people in the process of moving, people in hospitals, children in shared custody arrangements, college students, live-in employees, military personnel, and people who live in workers' dormitories.
Applying the usual residence concept to real living situations means that people will not always be counted at the place where they happen to be staying on Census Day (April 1, 2020) or at the time they complete their census questionnaire. For example, some of the ways that the Census Bureau applies the concept of usual residence include the following:
People who are away from their usual residence while on vacation or on a business trip on Census Day are counted at their usual residence.
People who live at more than one residence during the week, month, or year are counted at the place where they live most of the time.
People without a usual residence are counted where they are staying on Census Day.
People in certain types of group facilities on Census Day are counted at the group facility.