Previously, the bureau only asked about cohabiting couples’ sexual orientation, something that has left a hole in data for the sexual orientation of couples who don’t live together. In the past the only gender options were male and female, which didn’t account for transgender Americans. Now the Census is requesting $10 million to evaluate the best way to ask about both topics.
Since its survey comes out every ten years, the multi-million funding will be spent across several years before the next census is released.
The survey changed from 2010 to 2020, including a fill-in-the-blank section under race so that people could input the complexity of their races. 2010’s survey also saw some confusion surrounding the reporting of couple’s genders, accidentally inflating the number of same-sex couples.
U.S. Passports now include a third “X” gender on its applications. It’s meant to cater to transgender and nonbinary passport holders.
Canada updated its own census survey last year, finding that it had missed over 100,000 of its citizens that identify has transgender or nonbinary.