Census Bureau Census Bureau

If the White House approves a proposal to change the way the government collects race and ethnicity data, white people in the U.S. may be asked to check off boxes about their ethnic background. On this 2010 census form, answering "white" was enough to respond to the race question. blackwaterimages/Getty Images hide caption

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blackwaterimages/Getty Images

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appears before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to discuss preparing for the 2020 Census. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

'Many Challenges' Ahead For 2020 Census, Commerce Secretary Says

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Copies of the 2010 Census forms are on display in Phoenix. The U.S. Census Bureau is no longer considering removing a question on sexual orientation from a marketing survey for the 2020 Census. Ross D. Franklin/AP hide caption

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Ross D. Franklin/AP

Job candidates take a tour of the Amazon fulfillment center in Robbinsville, N.J., during a job fair last month. The Census Bureau says increased employment is what's driving higher income numbers. Julio Cortez/AP hide caption

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Julio Cortez/AP

Pedestrians walk through Rockefeller Center in New York City. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Asian population recently grew by 3 percent to 21.4 million and people who identified as being of two or more races grew by 3 percent to 8.5 million. Armin Rodler/Flickr hide caption

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Armin Rodler/Flickr

Census Bureau Director John Thompson's five-year term expired in December, but he had been widely expected to stay on through at least the end of this year. U.S. Census Bureau hide caption

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U.S. Census Bureau

Left to right: George Fermon (standing), Benjamin F. Fermon (seated, author's grandfather; father of children pictured), Jessie Fermon (standing, back row), Benjamin "Bizzy" Fermon (front row, white romper), Harold Fermon, (grey knee-britches suit), Jessie Amy Anderson Fermon (seated, author's grandmother; mother of children), Frances Fermon, (on Jessie Amy's lap) Gladys Fermon (standing) Courtesy of Amy Alexander/Author hide caption

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Courtesy of Amy Alexander/Author

Gender-neutral signs are posted outside public restrooms at the 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, N.C. The Census Bureau says it is not planning to ask about gender identity or sexual orientation in the 2020 Census. Sara D. Davis/Getty Images hide caption

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Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

U.S. Postal Service mail carrier Thomas Russell holds a census form while working his route in 2010. Jason E. Miczek/AP hide caption

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Jason E. Miczek/AP

Run-Up To Census 2020 Raises Concerns Over Security And Politics

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The Census Bureau released new numbers on Tuesday showing that real median household incomes rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 last year. Skopein/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Skopein/Getty Images/Ikon Images

The Census Bureau released new numbers on Tuesday showing that real median household incomes rose from $53,718 in 2014 to $56,516 last year. Skopein/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Skopein/Getty Images/Ikon Images

Census Bureau Tests New Online Survey In Small Towns Ahead Of 2020

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Question 9 on the first page of the 2010 Census form. After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping use of the word "Negro" to describe black Americans in its surveys. Instead of the term, which was popularized during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use "black" or "African-American." Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Carolyn Kaster/AP