Hansi Lo Wang

Updated October 9, 2021 at 4:50 PM ET

The U.S. Census Bureau is extending a final round of door knocking into early 2022 for a key survey that is expected to help determine the accuracy of last year's national head count, NPR has learned.

For Leani García Torres, none of the boxes really fit.

In 2010, she answered U.S. census questions for the first time on her own as an adult. Is she of Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin? That was easy. She marked, "Yes, Puerto Rican."

But then came the stumper: What is her race?

"Whenever that question is posed, it does raise a little bit of anxiety," García Torres explains. "I actually remember calling my dad and saying, 'What race are you putting? I don't know what to put.' "

Updated September 26, 2021 at 7:01 AM ET

Prisoners are among the country's least powerful people. But every 10 years, where they're counted in census numbers can shift political power in the United States.

Updated September 20, 2021 at 1:38 PM ET

The judge hearing the tax fraud case against former President Donald Trump's family business and its longtime chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, in New York City has set a schedule with a potential court trial starting in late August or early September 2022, just months before the midterm elections.

Updated September 14, 2021 at 12:22 PM ET

An independent panel of researchers said it has found no major irregularities in the 2020 census results that were used to reallocate congressional seats and Electoral College votes for the next decade.

Updated September 4, 2021 at 1:32 PM ET

President Biden plans to visit New York and New Jersey on Tuesday to survey the damage wrought when remnants of Hurricane Ida struck several states in the Northeast with ferocity this week, thrashing the region several days after making landfall on the Gulf Coast.

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Many parts of the Northeast are recovering from historic rainfall after the remnants of Ida passed through last night. Flash flooding and other storm conditions are blamed for at least 40 deaths across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

For about 1 in 10 people counted for last year's U.S. census, a single check box was not enough to report their racial identities.

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Some news coverage of the latest 2020 census results may have led you to think the white population in the U.S. is shrinking or in decline.

The actual story about the country's biggest racial group is more complicated than that.

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Over the past decade, the United States continued to grow more racially and ethnically diverse, according to the results of last year's national head count that the U.S. Census Bureau released this week.

There are many ways to slice the data and change how the demographic snapshot looks.

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A new portrait of the racial and ethnic makeup of the U.S. is set to be unveiled Thursday when the Census Bureau releases the largest trove of results from the 2020 count so far.

The basic demographic information about how the country's residents self-identify will be used to redraw voting districts, enforce antidiscrimination laws and inform research and policymaking for the next decade.

After months of delays, the 2020 census results used to redraw voting districts around the country will finally be released on Aug. 12, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

President Biden's White House is reviving a previously stalled review of proposed policy changes that could allow the Census Bureau to ask about people's race and ethnicity in a radical new way in time for the 2030 head count, NPR has learned.

Updated July 18, 2021 at 7:57 PM ET

More than two decades before the Biden administration announced its historic pick to lead the U.S. Census Bureau, James F. Holmes quietly blazed a trail at the federal government's largest statistical agency.

Updated July 15, 2021 at 3:49 PM ET

Robert Santos, President Biden's nominee for director of the U.S. Census Bureau, is a step closer to a potential political appointment for the history books after testifying before Congress on Thursday.

Updated June 30, 2021 at 2:22 PM ET

A three-judge court has rejected Alabama's request to force the U.S. Census Bureau to move up the release of 2020 census redistricting data. The federal judges have also allowed the bureau to continue plans for a new way of keeping people's census information confidential.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 12:17 PM ET

As the country waits for more results from last year's national head count, the U.S. Census Bureau is facing an increasingly tricky balancing act.

How will the largest public data source in the United States continue to protect people's privacy while also sharing the detailed demographic information used for redrawing voting districts, guiding federal funding, and informing policymaking and research for the next decade?

This week, Minnesota's state demographer finally got the numbers she's spent years waiting for.

"I didn't expect to be as nervous as I eventually was as they were unveiling these numbers," says Susan Brower, who was among those glued to the Census Bureau's livestream about the first set of 2020 census results that determine how many seats in Congress and votes in the Electoral College each state gets for the next decade.

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The first results of the 2020 census revealed some astonishing numbers this week. The national count is used to determine how many seats in Congress each state receives for the next decade. New York has lost one of its seats. That would not have happened if the state's census counts included just 89 more residents. But as NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports, there was an even smaller number in another state that made a big difference.

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The first results of the 2020 census finally came out yesterday. They told us which states gained or lost seats in Congress, and there was some unexpected news.

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Tens of thousands of U.S. service members who were temporarily deployed abroad last year could help shift the balance of power in Congress and the Electoral College toward states with military installations after the release of 2020 census results.

Approximately 97,000 troops were serving stints overseas on Census Day — April 1, 2020 — Pentagon spokesperson Lisa Lawrence tells NPR. And for last year's national tally, the Census Bureau followed a new policy that counted those deployed troops as residents of the areas from which they were assigned away.

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Updated April 20, 2021 at 2:53 PM ET

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is renewing a push that failed during the previous administration to extend the deadlines for reporting 2020 census results after the pandemic and Trump officials' interference disrupted the count.

For decades, the size of the U.S. House of Representatives has pitted state against state in a fight for political power after each census.

That's because, for the most part, there is a number that has not changed for more than a century — the 435 seats for the House's voting members.

While the House did temporarily add two seats after Alaska and Hawaii became states in 1959, a law passed in 1929 has set up that de facto cap to representation.

NOEL KING, HOST:

The first results of the 2020 census will be out soon. High stakes here - they determine how many seats your state gets in Congress and how many votes you get in the Electoral College. Now, that can change every 10 years, depending on what the census produces. But there is one number that hasn't changed for more than a century. Here's NPR census correspondent Hansi Lo Wang.

HANSI LO WANG, BYLINE: That number comes into focus once a decade, when Census Bureau directors announce, like Robert Groves did in 2010...

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