Hansi Lo Wang

Hansi Lo Wang (he/him) is a national correspondent for NPR based in New York City. He reports on the people, power and money behind the 2020 census.

Wang received the American Statistical Association's Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award for covering the Census Bureau and the Trump administration's push for a citizenship question.

His reporting has also earned awards from the Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, and Native American Journalists Association.

Since joining NPR in 2010 as a Kroc Fellow, he has reported on race and ethnicity for Code Switch and worked on Weekend Edition as a production assistant.

As a student at Swarthmore College, he worked on a weekly podcast about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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.

Updated at 8:36 p.m. ET

In the last days of the Trump administration, Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham has pressured employees at the agency to speed up the production of a data report about noncitizens, including unauthorized immigrants, the bureau's internal watchdog group says.

Updated Friday at 7:40 p.m. ET

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, the first woman to lead the country's smallest state, has been named President-elect Joe Biden's intended nominee for commerce secretary.

President Trump's bid to alter a key set of census numbers has hit another snag with the Census Bureau uncovering even more irregularities with the 2020 head count and the expected release of numbers delayed again.

Updated Friday at 2:49 p.m. ET

Saddled with delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic and last-minute changes by the Trump administration, the first set of 2020 census results were not ready for release by Thursday's year-end deadline for numbers that determine representation in Congress and the Electoral College for the next decade.

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

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Updated at 6:06 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court ducked a direct ruling Friday on whether President Trump can exclude undocumented immigrants from a key census count.

At issue in the case was Trump's July memorandum ordering the U.S. Census Bureau for the first time to exclude undocumented immigrants from the decennial census for purposes of reapportionment. The count is used to determine how many seats each state gets in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.

Updated Wednesday at 12:12 a.m. ET

It's still not clear when the U.S. Census Bureau will release the first results from the 2020 census.

But when it does, the bureau estimates the count may show that the U.S. population has grown by as much as 8.7% since the 2010 census, which produced a count of 308.7 million people.

The Census Bureau has found irregularities in records for this year's national tally that, if left unfixed, could miscount millions of people.

Documents obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee confirm the Census Bureau may not be able to release a key set of numbers from this year's national head count until after the end of President Trump's term.

Updated at 5:24 p.m. ET

At the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday, the justices expressed doubts about a plan to exclude undocumented immigrants from a key census count — the first time unauthorized immigrants would not be counted for purposes of drawing new congressional districts.

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

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

A federal court in Washington, D.C., has tossed out a lawsuit filed against President Trump's efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants from a key set of census numbers.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

The U.S. Census Bureau has determined it cannot put together the first set of results from this year's census by its Dec. 31 deadline. The bureau says it needs to resolve routine "processing anomalies."

So, the bureau is looking toward Jan. 26 as a new target date, according to a bureau employee who learned about the shift during an internal meeting Thursday and spoke to NPR on the condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation in the workplace.

As the incoming Biden administration prepares for office, the Census Bureau is already looking ahead to changes for the 2030 count.

While Biden's transition team has not announced any specific policies yet for the next once-a-decade tally of the country's residents, the president-elect's campaign has previewed what could end up on the new administration's agenda. They include ideas that gained steam during the Obama administration but stalled after President Trump took office.

President-elect Joe Biden's win has some people asking if there's an opportunity for a 2020 census do-over.

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