The new director of the Census Bureau, Robert L. Santos, has his work cut out for him. He took office in January on the heels of a 2020 census hobbled by a pandemic, natural disasters and political interference by the Trump administration.
The census proved accurate enough in the end to be used to reapportion the House of Representatives and guide the drawing of new political maps nationwide. But it also undercounted Black and Latino people — and overcounted white and Asian people — to an alarming degree. Those flaws resonate with Mr. Santos, a Latino who is the first person of color to hold the top Census Bureau post.
His task is not just to rebuild battered public trust in the census, but to prepare for a 2030 count that could rely on government data and even private data from internet giants like Amazon to achieve a more accurate count.
Mr. Santos is a statistician with more than four decades of experience in corporate, nonprofit and government posts, most recently at the Urban Institute, a nonprofit that analyzes social and economic policies. In a recent question-and-answer session, edited for length and clarity, he talked about those challenges.
redrawing of the boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts. It happens every 10 years, after the census, to reflect changes in population.