The UPDATED Synergos 2020 Census Plan

What to expect in 2022 and 2023.

The UPDATED Synergos 2020 Census Plan

What to expect from Synergos in 2022 and 2023.

July 5th, 2022 Update

Earlier this year (2022), the Census Bureau informed the public that they were nearing the final release of the DHC (Demographic and Housing Characteristics) file. Based on their May 2022 release date, we were hopeful that we’d be able to complete a full STI:PopStats rebuild by October of 2022. But May has come and gone, and now the Census Bureau has changed the release date to May 2023 for this critical piece of data.

 For 20+ years STI:PopStats has been synonymous with quality and timeliness. We know our customers place great trust in us, so we’ve contemplated very carefully how to go about including already released Census data, while delivering an estimate that can live up to the Synergos standard of quality.

Here’s what to expect over the coming months. 

  • Full Rebuild Plan – We now expect a full rebuild of STI:PopStats by October 2023. This is contingent on the Census Bureau sticking to a May 2023 release date of the full DHC file.

  • Census 2020 Geographies Transition – Until we’ve completed a full rebuild, we will continue to build our releases on 2010 geographies. When we begin this publication on 2020 geographies we will continue to release in parallel on 2010 geographies for 2 quarters, allowing for an easier geographic transition for our customers. For clarity, as the plan stands right now, the last two releases on 2010 geographies will be October 2023 and January 2024.


The following Q&A section will hopefully address most of your remaining questions, but please don’t hesitate to reach us through our Contact Us form, or through your primary contact at Synergos for additional information.

 What data specifically is missing, and what data from the 2020 Census has been used in the most recent STI:PopStats estimates?

The low level geography counts that have not yet been released, and which are critical to us for performing a full rebuild are; households, persons per household, vacancies,  age distributions, and race distributions by age.

Has the ACS release in March 2022 been used to produce the current estimates?

In short, yes. The ACS, which is normally delivered in December, was delayed for the first time ever to the end of March of 2022, which means our Q3 July 2022 release, will be the first to leverage this data. Additionally, this ACS data was published on 2020 Geographies and had to be translated to 2010 geographies for incorporation into our products.

Should we be concerned with the results reported by the Post Enumeration Survey (PES)?

The Census Bureau reported that their PES showed an undercount in six states, and an over count in eight states. Given that the PES is based on a 114,000 household survey and on a theoretical model that the Census doesn’t disclose, we ultimately trust the data reported in the Census as the ultimate truth to rebuild our models. For more on the PES click here.

How does this situation compare to the 2010 Census release? 

The SF1 file for the 2010 Census had several versions. The first version was a state-by-state release that occurred between June and August 2011. This allowed us to have our conversion to the 2010 geographies completed by the October 2011 release. If the Census Bureau releases the DHC data around May 2023 that will be about two years behind how the 2010 Census release went.

Why the delay with the 2020 Census Release?

Previous delays could be partially attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic. The current delay centers primarily on the Bureau’s effort to devise a mechanism for keeping personally identifiable information confidential. This is referred to as Differential Privacy, and this evolving methodology will continue to delay an already late release until the Bureau deems it is satisfactorily accomplishing its purpose.  Hopefully this time, the Census Bureau’s publication date of May 2023 holds and does truly provide the necessary time for them to complete this task. 

Curious about PopStats? Reach out and we’d be glad to help!

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