With the 2020 census in its final month, the U.S. statistical community fears that rushed deadlines and political interference could lead to a seriously flawed head count. They want Congress to take two steps to avoid that fate: Ensure that the Census Bureau has enough time to do the job right and create an independent oversight body to track the agency's efforts. The primary purpose of the census—spelled out in the U.S. Constitution—is to determine how many seats each state gets in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives. The data are also used to allocate some $1.5 trillion a year in federal spending, and they fuel countless research studies of U.S. demographic trends. But many social scientists believe several recent actions by the Trump administration have undermined the bureau's ability to meet those obligations without sacrificing its rigorous standards for quality.