The projected reporting date for state population counts from the U.S. Census Bureau has moved for a third time, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The new projected reporting date of March 6 is nearly a month after the Feb. 9 projected date offered by the Bureau to a federal judge last week.
The data is usually due to the president on or around Dec. 31 so congressional reapportionment efforts and changes to the electoral vote count can begin.
Population data is usually due to the states on or around April 1 for use in redistricting efforts.
Citing a shortened 2020 census count and the need to fix irregularities, census officials say they are working as quickly as possible to resolve the remaining issues.
BREAKING: The expected release date for the 1st set of 2020 results has been pushed back further, now March 6, DOJ attorney John Coghlan tells a federal judge during a court conference. The Census Bureau’s working “diligently” to fix irregularities in census records, Coghlan says
— Hansi Lo Wang (@hansilowang) January 11, 2021
In a November blog post from Dr. Ron Jarmin, deputy director and chief operating officer at the census bureau, Jarmin called the decennial count a “Herculean” effort on a normal year.
Jarmin reiterated that irregularities are a normal part of any census count, but were complicated in 2020 by the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and civil unrest.
“Our analysis of the data is just underway,” Jarmin said in November, “and as with all prior censuses we’re seeing and working through data quality issues as we prepare the data for tabulation. As I discuss further below, some issues appear to be pandemic related, but most are what we experience with every decennial census and other Census Bureau surveys.”