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2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

We’re adapting or delaying some of our operations to protect the health and safety of our staff and the public and make sure we get the same population counted another way.

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In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census operations in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
  • Implement guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities regarding COVID-19.
  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

Information provided daily to the Census Bureau from FEMA, as well as State and Local authorities, is used to guide Census Bureau decisions on timing. As a result, selected field operations are resuming on a phased schedule on a geographic basis.

Census Takers Are Following Up with Nonresponding Households

Component ID: #ti1047004486

Starting July 16, census takers will begin interviewing households that have yet to respond to the 2020 Census in regions managed by the area census offices on this map.

In subsequent weeks, the Census Bureau will announce additional census offices as it prepares to begin enumeration activities nationwide. The majority of census offices across the country will begin follow-up work on August 11.  All offices will conclude work no later than October 31.

Census takers will follow local public health guidelines when they visit.  Learn more at Census Takers In Your Neighborhood.

Soft Launch of Census Taker Visits

Describes what your community needs to know when census takers visit households that haven't responded to the 2020 Census.

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Status of Current Operations

Self-Response Phase

Online, phone and mailed self-responses continue throughout the data collection process.

Planned Schedule

March 12 – July 31

Revised Schedule

March 12 – October 31

Group Quarters (E-Response & Paper Enumeration)

Many group quarters have already begun responding through our e-Response enumeration option.

Planned Schedule

April 2 – June 5

Revised Schedule

April 2 – September 3

Remote Alaska

Early operation to reach parts of Alaska which may be difficult to reach later in the year and whose populations depart for other activities. The operation will be mostly completed on the original planned schedule, though some areas with year-round populations will be enumerated when it is safe to do so. 

Planned Schedule

January 21 – April 30

Revised Schedule

January 21 – August 31

Island Areas

Census takers interview households in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This operation is coordinated with the local Island Areas governments. Census takers use paper questionnaires to interview households.

Planned Schedule

February 3 - June 30

Revised Schedule

February 3 - September 30

Field Offices at Peak Operations 

Managers and staff commence administrative, training, deployment and support activities for peak data collection operations.  This includes selecting and hiring field staff. 

Planned Schedule

March 1

Revised Schedule

Phased re-opening occurred between May 4 and June 12.

Update Leave - Stateside

Census takers drop off invitations to respond and paper questionnaires at the front doors of 5 million households stateside while updating the addresses.

Planned Schedule

March 15 – April 17

Revised Schedule

Phased re-opening occurred between May 4 and June 12.

Update Leave – Puerto Rico

Update Leave operations for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, approximately 1.7 million households, will be coordinated separately. 

Planned Schedule

March 15 – April 17

Revised Schedule

May 22

Update Enumerate

Census takers interview about 2,000 households in remote parts of northern Maine and southeast Alaska.

Planned Schedule

March 16 – April 30

Revised Schedule

June 14 – July 29

Nonresponse Followup (NRFU)

Census takers will interview households in person. New dates will cover areas previously scheduled for "Early NRFU."

Planned Schedule

May 13 – July 31

Revised Schedule

August 11 – October 31

In-Person Group Quarters Enumeration

Group Quarters that remain as part of our in-person group quarters enumeration efforts will begin in July.

Planned Schedule

April 2 – June 5

Revised Schedule

July 1 – September 3

Service Based Enumeration

We’re working with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve.

Planned Schedule

March 30 – April 1

Revised Schedule

September 22 - September 24

Mobile Questionnaire Assistance

Census Bureau staff assists people with responding online at places people gather (events, grocery stores, etc.).

Planned Schedule

March 30 – July 31

Revised Schedule

Being modified to reflect the current environment.

Count of People experiencing homelessness outdoors

Census takers count people under bridges, in parks, in all-night businesses, etc.

Planned Schedule

April 1

Revised Schedule

September 22 - September 24

Enumeration of Transitory Locations

Census takers count people staying at campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels if they do not usually live elsewhere.

Planned Schedule

April 9 – May 4

Revised Schedule

September 3 – September 28

Process Apportionment Counts

After collection activities are complete, Census Bureau experts run and review output from programs to unduplicate responses, determine final housing unit status, populate any missing housing unit data on household size and finalize the universe to be included in the apportionment count file.

Planned Schedule

July 31, 2020 – December 31, 2020

Revised Schedule

October 31, 2020 – April 30, 2021

Process Redistricting Data 

Census Bureau experts run and review programs to populate any missing demographic data for each household, run differential privacy programs to ensure confidentiality and run tabulation programs for each state delivery.

Planned Schedule

January 1, 2021 – March 30, 2021

Revised Schedule

May 1, 2021 – July 31, 2021

Deliver apportionment counts to the President

By law, the Census Bureau will deliver each state’s population total, which determines its number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Planned Schedule

By December 31

Revised Schedule

Deliver By April 30, 2021

President delivers apportionment counts to Congress

Planned Schedule

Within 7 days of start of legislative session or, approximately 10-20 days after receipt.

Revised Schedule

Within 14 days of receipt.

Deliver redistricting counts to states

By law, the Census Bureau will deliver the local counts each state needs to complete legislative redistricting.

Planned Schedule

By April 1, 2021

Revised Schedule

Deliver By July 31, 2021

Press Kit: COVID-19

The Census Bureau continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation and follow the guidance of federal, state, and local health authorities.