Conducting the 2020 Census under Risk of Contagion


The US Constitution mandates that a decennial census take place in 2020. It is standard procedure for households that do not mail their response (or complete it online) to be surveyed in person by enumerators hired for this purpose. But the highly contagious SARS-Cov-2 (novel coronavirus) makes door-to-door enumeration a risky endeavor. To follow through with its important duties while maintaining public health, the Census Bureau should proceed with pilot projects to test and verify virus-safe practices in a few locales and conduct the remainder of the survey with constant reevaluation of its own safety practices. If successful, the 2020 census will provide a biosafety model for in-person interaction with customers that businesses can emulate.

To learn more, check out the policy brief by Mercatus Center Senior Research Fellow, Salim Furth and American Enterprise Institute Adjunct Fellow, Lyman Stone here.