The Synergos 2020 Census Plan

What you can expect from your data partners with the 2020 Census.

The Synergos 2020 Census Plan

What you can expect from your data partners with the 2020 Census.

October 19, 2021 Update

As the Census Bureau continues to work through its releases, we wanted to update you on their status and how their past and future releases are incorporated into our products. We put together this Q&A to address most of your questions regarding the process and our updated schedule for fully incorporating the 2020 Census and releasing estimates with 2020 geographies. Please read carefully and don’t hesitate to reach out should you need clarification or further discussion on any point.

What Census 2020 data has been released?

  • The first 2020 Census data released by the Census Bureau in late April 2021 included only Population counts on a State level of geography. Then in August 2021 they released the redistricting data, also known as the P.L. 94 data. This data was released in other formats in mid-September. The P.L. 94 data includes fields for Population, Race, Ethnicity, Housing units, and Voting Age at a Census Block level of geography. 

How has that data been incorporated into PopStats?

  • The first incorporation was with our July 2021 release. We used the Census 2020 state-level figures to adjust our county-level control population totals. With the latest October 2021 release, we have used the P.L. 94 data to adjust the county-level control population totals. This integration method has kept our models based on 2010 geographies but still allows for some adjustment based upon the 2020 Census data. Most areas saw only slight changes. Areas that saw more effect were areas like New Jersey, which we undercounted compared to the 2020 Census, and Arizona, which we overcounted. 

What data are we waiting on for a full rebuild based upon 2020 geographies and lower-level data?

  • The Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) includes data that in 2010 was previously included in the SF1 file. This data includes several key breakouts that are necessary for rebuilding our estimate models based on the new 2020 geographies. These include households, age, sex, race, and their cross tables, among others. The household count and other detailed breakout fields are imperative to rebuild the estimate model. It should be noted that the P.L. 94 data does not contain a household count and many other critical breakouts. 

What is the current estimated timeline for a complete 2020 based version? 

  • The Census Bureau does not have a precise date set for the release of the DHC and Detailed DHC and never has given one. Previously the rumors, among mostly state demographers with which the Census coordinates, indicated state-by-state releases from late August 2021 through December 2021. Based upon this we have currently and tentatively set our 2020 update schedule for the April and July releases in 2022. However, none of those files have been released to date. Currently, they list “Tentatively 2022” on the main Census 2020 web page. And in the Stakeholder Engagement plans just released in September there is slightly more detail for the DHC timeline. This source indicates that the DHC will “Begin Production”, after two rounds of format and privacy review and public comment that are to occur in Winter and Spring. This timeline indicates they will start producing the DHC files in Summer 2022. If that is the case, and we really hope it isn’t, we will make every attempt to meet an October 2022 release. 

How does this compare to the 2010 Census release? 

  • The SF1 file for the 2010 Census had several versions. The first version was a state-by-state release that occurred between June and August 2011. This allowed us to have our conversion to the 2010 geographies completed by the October 2011 release. If the Census Bureau releases the DHC data around June that will be about a year behind how the 2010 Census release went.

Why the delay?

  • The Census Bureau had a major early issue with conducting the 2020 Census, the Covid-19 pandemic. The ultimate effects of this were a delay of only a few months. An impressive testament to the Census Bureau’s ability to adapt. This is why we, along with other industry demographers, expected state-by-state releases between August and December 2021. Just a slightly lagged version of the 2010 SF1 file release schedule. That was until last month’s Stakeholder Engagement plans indicated that this data would not be released until it could be revised for differential privacy noise injection, which is the bureau’s new additional mechanism for keeping personally identifiable information confidential. This will end up further delaying an already late release. 

We were the first demographic data company to release a 2010 Census based estimate, and we’re committed to leading the pack in releasing accurate estimates with the 2020 Census. We appreciate that you chose Synergos products because of our uncompromising commitment to quality and the timeliness of our releases, and we are eager to continue to prove our value as we work towards a 2020 Census based estimate.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (512) 343-1963 or simply chat with us right here.

Curious about PopStats? Reach out and we’d be glad to help!

Learn More Census Bureau Website