Just Released: New Handbook on 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance  

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Just Released: New Handbook on 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance  

The Census Bureau today released a new handbook designed to help data users better understand the 2020 Census Disclosure Avoidance System (DAS)—why it’s needed, how it works, and what data users should consider when working with the data.

The handbook, “Disclosure Avoidance for the 2020 Census: An Introduction,” is written in accessible language so that all data users—whether they are new to differential privacy (the basis for the DAS) or are well-versed in its mechanics—can benefit from a read. It was created in partnership with Population Reference Bureau. 

The handbook describes the DAS in the context of the 2020 Census Redistricting Data (P.L. 94-171) Summary File because those were the first 2020 Census data protected using the new procedures. 

Let us know if you find the handbook beneficial, and if there are other aspects of the DAS you’d like to learn more about, via 2020DAS@census.gov.   

Status Update: Demographic and Housing Characteristics File (DHC) 

We appreciate the feedback received on the 2020 Census Data Product Planning Crosswalk. We are analyzing the submissions, particularly the examples people shared of how they use specific census data points at the lowest levels of geography. We will continue to keep the public informed through the Disclosure Avoidance Modernization and About 2020 Census Data Products pages as we update and finalize our plans. 

As a reminder, our notional development timeline for the DHC includes planning for two sets of demonstration data releases, in winter and spring of 2022. We’ll continue to keep you posted on developments as well as these opportunities for feedback. 

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About Disclosure Avoidance Modernization

The Census Bureau is protecting 2020 Census data products with a powerful new cryptography-inspired disclosure avoidance system known as “differential privacy.” We are committed to producing 2020 Census data products that are of the same high quality you've come to expect while protecting respondent confidentiality from emerging threats in today's digital world. 


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