Potential impact of 2020 US decennial census data collection on disaster preparedness and population mental health

Symielle A. Gaston, Sandro Galea, Gregory H. Cohen, Richard K. Kwok, Ariane L. Rung, Edward S. Peters, Chandra L. Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasing in frequency and impact in the United States and worldwide, disasters can lead to serious mental health consequences. Although US census data are essential for disaster preparedness and the identification of community-level risk factors for adverse postdisaster mental health outcomes, the US Census Bureau faces many challenges as we approach 2020 Decennial Census data collection. Despite the utility of the information provided by the Census and American Community Survey (ACS), the 2020 US Census and subsequent ACS data face threats to validity. As a result, public health funding could be misallocated, and disaster preparedness and response efforts misinformed; this can also contribute to the worsening of mental health inequities, particularly in the context of disaster. Undercutting the Census and the ACS, rich data sources that allow representation of all people in the United States, is a step backward in our effort to mitigate the population mental health consequences of disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1079-1083
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume109
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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