Skip Header

Electronic Response Data Transfer (eResponse)

The eResponse enumeration method for counting people living or staying in group quarters allows administrators of group quarters to electronically transfer facility data to the Census Bureau. The eResponse period for the United States, including Puerto Rico, will begin on April 1, 2020, and end on August 7, 2020.



The Census Bureau is no longer collecting responses to the 2020 Census. This page provided details for specific operations during the count.


This enumeration method is one of several response options available to group quarters, which include military correctional facilities, correctional facilities, hospitals, nursing facilities and skilled nursing facilities, and college and university student housing.



As federal, state, and local governments issue new rules and guidance to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, we have made the below adjustments to the schedule and plans for the 2020 Census to ensure the safety of our staff and individuals residing in group quarters facilities. As the situation unfolds, the Census Bureau may make additional adjustments to operations which can be followed at here. 

  1. Because of temporary adjustments at two Census Bureau facilities in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the Census Bureau has not mailed letters with eResponse login credentials to group quarters facilities that selected eResponse as their enumeration method for the 2020 Census.  Those credentials were scheduled to be sent on March 27, 2020
  2. To prepare for this eventuality, on Monday, March 23, 2020, Census Bureau staff started calling group quarters facilities that selected eResponse as their preferred enumeration method to collect email addresses for those locations with no email address on record at the Bureau. 
  3. If your facility selected eResponse as its preferred enumeration method, and Census Bureau staff successfully obtained an email address, the identified point of contact we have on record for your facility should receive an official U. S. Census Bureau email as early as March 31, 2020.  This email will include your unique login credentials for the eResponse system, enabling you to submit 2020 Census data for each resident living or sleeping at your facility on Census Day, April 1, 2020.     

Finally and most importantly, this message confirms to the public the legitimacy of the above phone calls that inquire about email addresses, as well as the official U. S. Census Bureau email address from which group quarters facilities will receive unique login credentials.  Those credentials will allow you to access the eResponse system and provide your critical data for the 2020 Census.

Hundreds of millions of dollars annually are allocated based on 2020 census data, and it is important to enumerate individuals where they live and sleep most of the time.  The Census Bureau has not changed its “residence criteria” – its rules on where individuals should be counted.  These criteria can be found on our website.

Thank you for working with the Census Bureau to ensure an accurate count for our nation’s group quarters population, including those in medical facilities.


How Does eResponse Work?

For the 2020 Census, administrators of non-service-based group quarters facilities may respond by electronic response data transfer (eResponse). This allows the facility to respond to the 2020 Census without a census taker visiting.

Group quarters administrators that elect to use the eResponse method receive a letter with instructions and a unique user ID for accessing the eResponse portal. After the administrator has entered the user ID and set up security questions, the system generates a PIN. The user ID and PIN are used to log in to the eResponse portal.  

The group quarters administrator downloads a census template and enters their facility’s name, type description, address, location description, population at their facility on Census Day (April 1, 2020), and respondent data into the template.

  • Group quarters administrators can use their user ID and PIN to access the portal as many times as needed but are given only two opportunities to submit the completed document.
  • If the template is uploaded successfully, the group quarters administrator receives a notification that the file has been accepted. Once accepted, no changes can be made. If submission was unsuccessful, the group quarters administrator receives an error message and will be given one more opportunity to submit a corrected and completed document. 
  • Filling in the eResponse template takes approximately 20 minutes.

Uploaded information can be seen only by authorized Census Bureau workers sworn to protect Title 13 data.


What Is the eResponse Website Address?

The eResponse website address is The eResponse website will be open for the GQ administrator (or GQ contact person) to upload data from Apil 1, 2020, through August 7, 2020.

GQE Fact Sheet
Download PDF

eResponse Letter

Informational eResponse Letter for Group Quarters

Letter providing information for facility managers about the eResponse enumeration procedures.

GQE Fact Sheet

Electronic Response Data Transfer (eResponse) Manual

The eResponse manual for Group Quarters Administrators.

Download PDF

GQE Fact Sheet

Electronic Response Data Transfer (eResponse) Template

Census Bureau template for the eResponse enumeration method.

Download PDF

eResponse Listing Page

Informational eResponse Listing Page for Group Quarters

Informational listing page for the eResponse enumeration method.

Download PDF

Group Quarters Definitions and Type Codes

Outlines Group Quarters definitiions and type codes used in the 2020 Census.

Download PDF