NPR

FACT CHECK: Has Citizenship Been A Standard Census Question?

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said a question about U.S. citizenship was included in every census from 1965 to 2000. Census history tells a more nuanced story.
The 1950 census form asked where respondents were born and whether they were naturalized. Source: Census.gov/Screenshot by NPR

After a controversial decision by the Department of Commerce to add a question about U.S. citizenship to the 2020 census, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the move as nothing out of the ordinary.

The claim

"This is a question that's been included in every census since 1965," Sanders said Tuesday, "with the exception of 2010, when it was removed."

The short answer

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min readPsychology
When Surgeons Are Abrasive To Coworkers, Patients' Health May Suffer
A new study shows a link between how surgeons act around coworkers and their patients' outcomes. Turns out rudeness and other unprofessional behavior isn't just obnoxious, it may be dangerous.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Fed Ponders When To Cut Interest Rates
There's an unusual air of suspense surrounding the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, with the possibility that the central bank could cut rates for the first time in nearly 11 years.
NPR2 min readPolitics
Canada's Trudeau Approves Controversial Pipeline Expansion
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first approved the project, which is opposed by many environmental groups, in 2016, but Tuesday's announcement means construction can begin later this year.