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

NPR6 min read
Food Fight: How 2 Trump Proposals Could Bite Into School Lunch
The pending federal rule changes could push a million kids off free or reduced-price school meals, at least temporarily.
NPR2 min read
China Expels 3 'Wall Street Journal' Reporters, Citing 'Racist' Headline
The move comes a day after the U.S. State Department designated five Chinese state media outlets as foreign government missions, thus treating them as extensions of Beijing.
NPR4 min read
In 'Counterpoint' Bach Helps An Art Critic Mourn A Mother Whose Criticism Lingers
The Washington Post's Philip Kennicott suffered his mother's harsh words and actions throughout childhood. His book is partly a need to acknowledge her "sadness and anger and unaccountable rages."