Contextualizing the Citizenship Question: History, Current Practices, and Potential Plans for 2020

Matthew Spence , U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau has a long history of asking residents about nativity and citizenship. This paper will cover the history of the citizenship question, starting in 1820 and leading through the 2000 Census and the American Community Survey. It will discuss the testing performed on the citizenship question and how the question has changed in response to test results. The paper will address current practices, highlight available data products and geographies, and discuss content submission for the 2020 Census. It will also describe the current social and demographic characteristics of the foreign-born population.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization