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Enumeration at Transitory Locations

2020 Census Enumeration at Transitory Locations counts people in occupied units at transitory locations who do not usually live or stay at another place. Transitory locations are places people are unlikely to live year-round, such as campgrounds, recreational vehicle (RV) parks, marinas, and hotels.



Information on this page is intended for transitory location administrators and contains important information on the U.S. Census Bureau's process for counting people living or staying at these locations.

Defining Transitory Locations

A transitory location is a place where people are unlikely to live year-round. Transitory locations include campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, hotels, motels, racetracks, circuses, and carnivals.

Each transitory location has multiple units, which can be rooms in a lodging facility or spaces where a tent, boat, RV, or other structure may be parked or located.

An occupied transitory unit is considered a housing unit if there is at least one person who usually resides there. If no one is staying at a transitory unit, that transitory unit is considered unoccupied and is not marked as living quarters. Similarly, a transitory unit is not tabulated as a housing unit if all people staying there report a usual home elsewhere. Anyone who reports a usual home elsewhere should be counted at that home.

How Are People in Transitory Locations Counted?

Enumeration at Transitory Locations consists of two phases: Transitory Location Advance Contact and Enumeration at Transitory Locations.

During the Transitory Location Advance Contact phase, Census Bureau workers prepare for enumeration. Between February 24 and March 21, 2020, area census office staff members will call an administrator at each transitory location to indicate that census takers will visit, explain the enumeration process, and collect information about the location. If the Census Bureau staff member is unable to make contact by phone, a staff member will visit the location and speak to the managers or representatives to set up an appointment. The Transitory Location Advance Contact sets the stage for a successful count at transitory locations with minimal disruption to occupants.

During the Transitory Location Advance Contact, Census Bureau staff members call or visit each transitory location to:

  • Verify the location name, type, address, phone number, and point of contact.
  • Record the number of units at the location.
  • Record the expected number of occupied units.
  • Set up a date and time to visit and conduct the count.
  • Address concerns related to facility privacy, confidentiality, and security.

Enumeration at Transitory Locations will occur from April 9 to May 4, 2020, after Transitory Location Advance Contact. Census takers will visit each transitory location at the scheduled time to interview people in the occupied units.

Filling out a paper questionnaire, the census response data that we ask for each person include: name, sex, date of birth, age on April 1, 2020, race, whether they are of Hispanic origin, relationship to the primary respondent, home ownership status, and an alternate address where they live or stay when they are not staying at a transitory location. 

Each interview will take approximately 10 minutes.

GQE Fact Sheet

Enumeration at Transitory Locations Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet for Enumeration at Transitory Locations.

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Notice of Visit

Informational Notice of Visit for Transitory Locations

Provides instructions on how to respond to the 2020 Census for those who could not be reached at the time of enumeration for Transitory Locations.

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ETL Poster

ETL Poster

Informational poster for the Enumeration of Transitory Locations operation.

Transitory Locations Type Code and Definitions

Outlines Transitory Locations type codes used in the 2020 Census.

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