Dictatorships and Data Standards
Since the 19th century, government statistics have been central to our sense of shared social reality. Is that going away?
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision last month to add a question to the 2020 Census asking about citizenship status has predictably led to a firestorm of controversy. Census professionals, former Census directors, and progressive activists have responded furiously since the decision was announced, arguing that the added question will scare undocumented residents from filling out the census forms, leading to an undercount of the population in immigrant-rich communities.
As Ari Berman recently put it, “The census is America’s largest civic event, the only one that involves everyone in the country, young and old, citizen and noncitizen, rich and poor.”…