Greatest head count in US history is nearly ready for launch

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The greatest head count in American history takes place next year, and already the U.S. Census Bureau is facing concerns about its accuracy and security.

The agency also has to overcome the challenge of asking most respondents to answer questions online for the first time.

All of that is on top of the main attention-grabber so far — a citizenship question that was nixed by the Supreme Court, dropped by the Trump administration, resuscitated briefly and then abandoned again.

The census expects to count some 330 million heads. It is the largest peacetime operation the federal government undertakes.

At stake is the balance of political power in a deeply divided country, billions of dollars a year in federal funding and population data that will shape business decisions nationwide for years.

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