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Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang (he/him) is a national correspondent for NPR reporting on the people, power and money behind the U.S. census.

Wang was the first journalist to uncover plans by former President Donald Trump's administration to end 2020 census counting early.

Wang's coverage of the administration's failed push for a census citizenship question earned him the American Statistical Association's Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award. He received a National Headliner Award for his reporting from the remote village in Alaska where the 2020 count officially began.

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.

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.

Their multifaceted responses to the race question for the 2020 head count helped produce the data released this month for redrawing voting maps, enforcing civil rights laws and guiding federal funds to local communities.

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.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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.

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.

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.

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...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

In a historic move, President Biden is naming Robert Santos, one of the country's leading statisticians and the American Statistical Association's president, as his intended nominee to head the U.S. Census Bureau.

If confirmed by the Senate, Santos, who is Latinx, would be the first permanent director of color for the federal government's largest statistical agency, which is in charge of major surveys and the once-a-decade head count used for distributing political representation and funding around the United States.

Editor's note: A version of this comic was originally published in December 2020.

Updated at 2:58 p.m. ET

The Senate confirmed Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo on Tuesday as the next secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department.

Even before taking office, former President Donald Trump's administration obsessed over the U.S. census.

Updated at 7:08 p.m. ET

The 2020 census data needed for the redrawing of voting districts around the country are extremely delayed and now expected by Sept. 30.

A senior Democratic aide who was briefed by the Census Bureau on Friday, but not authorized to speak ahead of the bureau's planned public announcement, first confirmed the schedule change to NPR earlier on Friday.

Updated at 6:15 p.m. ET

Disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute changes by the Trump administration, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Wednesday that the release of the first results of the 2020 census will likely be delayed by four months.

The latest state population counts used to determine each state's share of votes in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College for the next decade are now expected by April 30.

President Biden's nominee for overseeing the U.S. Census Bureau, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, said she intends to depoliticize the 2020 census and listen to experts at a federal agency that had been caught in a partisan firestorm during the Trump administration.

"I believe that we need to take the politics out of the census, and we need to rely on the experts," Raimondo, a Democrat, told lawmakers Tuesday. "The experts and statisticians in the Census Bureau are top-notch, so I, once confirmed, intend to rely on them."

The U.S. Census Bureau has stopped working on a Trump administration-initiated project to produce citizenship data that could have politically benefited Republicans when voting districts are redrawn.

Updated at 9:44 p.m. ET

One of President Biden's first executive actions has reversed former President Donald Trump's unprecedented policy of altering a key census count by excluding unauthorized immigrants. The change ensures that the U.S. continues to follow more than two centuries of precedent in determining representation in Congress and the Electoral College.

Updated at 6:37 p.m. ET

The Trump-appointed director of the U.S. Census Bureau is stepping down close to a week after whistleblower complaints about his role in attempting to rush out an incomplete data report about noncitizens became public.

Updated Friday at 9:26 p.m. ET

The U.S. Census Bureau has halted all work on President Trump's directive to produce a state-by-state count of unauthorized immigrants that would have been used to alter a key set of census numbers, NPR has learned.

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