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Count on Your Census

Jan 19, 2021

The U.S. Census produces our nation’s most complete database of information about American households and communities. Racial and ethnic classifications on the census are vital to developing a full picture of America and to ensure that federal resources and representation are equitably apportioned. But what do we know about the census in other countries? What kind of data is collected and how is it used? In this episode, we speak with two census scholars for answers. Dr. Melissa Nobles and Dr. Debra Thompson, professors of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and McGill University respectively, explain how censuses operate in Brazil, Canada, and the UK. We all rely on an accurate count for a functioning government. But our varied histories with racial inclusion, exclusion, and democracy are important stories well worth telling.