Census Bureau statisticians and outside experts are trying to unravel a mystery: Why did people leave so many questions unanswered in the 2020 census? The blank answers spanned all categories of questions and all modes of responding. Theories abound, from respondents not understanding the question to not wanting to answer because of distrust over a failed effort to put a citizenship question on the form. The unanswered questions left information gaps that Census Bureau statisticians had to fill in. To do that, statisticians searched other administrative records such as tax forms, Social Security card applications or previous censuses.
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