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Counting People in Group Living Arrangements

If you are living or staying in a group living arrangement, also known as group quarters, on April 1, 2020, the Census Bureau has a special process for counting you.

A caretaker reaches down to assist a senior woman, who is seated on a couch. They are both smiling as they clasp hands.

What Are Group Quarters?

Group quarters are places where people live or stay in a group living arrangement. These places are owned or managed by an entity or organization that provides residents with housing and/or services.

Some examples of group quarters include:

  • College/university student housing (i.e., dorms, residence halls, etc.)
  • Residential treatment centers
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Group homes
  • Military barracks
  • Correctional facilities
  • Maritime and military vessels

For a full listing of group quarters types, please visit Group Quarters Enumeration.


Update Regarding College Students

The Census Bureau is modifying operations to ensure that all college students are counted. Please note that college students should still be counted at their usual on- or off-campus residence, even if they are home early this spring because of the COVID-19 situation. Students who are no longer living abroad are counted where they are living in the U.S. on April 1.

How Are People in Group Quarters Counted?

If you live or stay in group quarters, the Census Bureau will identify a group quarters administrator at your location to ensure that you are counted in the 2020 Census.

Group Quarters Administrators:

If you are a group quarters administrator looking for important information on the process for counting residents at your facility, please visit Group Quarters Enumeration.

What About People Who May Be Experiencing Homelessness?

The Census Bureau also has special processes in place for counting people who may be experiencing homelessness and who are staying or receiving assistance at service-based locations such as emergency and transitional shelters, soup kitchens, regularly scheduled mobile food van stops, and pre-identified non-sheltered outdoor locations.

If you are an administrator for a service-based location, please visit Service-Based Enumeration.

Contact Us

If you have questions about how the Census Bureau counts people living or staying in group quarters, receiving assistance at service-based locations, or experiencing homelessness, please email