In a recent statement, President Alondra Nelson asserted that the Social Science Research Council stands with fellow social science organizations in opposition to the administration’s intention of including a question related to citizenship status in the 2020 census, and echoes their concerns that a citizenship question will cause many individuals not to respond to the census or to do so inaccurately.

The Council has a long history of research and writings on the census, and has worked alongside the US Census Bureau to better understand the United States over time thanks to the data gathered from millions of Americans. SSRC committees participated in and sponsored research that culminated in the publication of deeper insights into the US population and its social conditions.

Here we have compiled a number of pieces from the Items archive that refer to past Council work on the census in hopes of elevating the conversation surrounding this issue.

Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1957
by G. Heberton Evans, Jr. Published in June 1960, pp. 16–18.

Population Census Monographs: Objectives and Plans of the Committee
by Dudley Kirk. Published in September 1960, pp. 31–32.

The Political Economy of National Statistics
by William Alonso and Paul Starr. Published in September 1982, pp. 29–35.

’Population of the United States in the 1980s’: Six New Census Monographs
Published in June 1988, pp. 37–39.

Census Volume on the American Indian
by Gary D. Sandefur. Published in June-September 1990, pp. 37–40.

The Census of 2000: Our Source of Information about Who We Are, How We Got Here and Where We Are Going in the Next Century
by Reynolds Farley. Published in March 1999, pp. 1–3.

Who Counts? The Politics of Census-Taking in Contemporary America
by Margo Anderson and Stephen E. Fienberg. Published in March 1999, pp. 4–6.

Census 2000—Science Meets Politics
by Kenneth Prewitt. Published in March 1999, p. 7.

Census Challenges
by Kenneth W. Wachter. Published in March 1999, p. 8.