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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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The 2020 Census is underway—more than half the households across America have responded—and more are responding every day. Online, phone and mailed self-responses will continue throughout the data collection process.  

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.

Guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Personnel Management has given Federal agencies guidelines to resume operations on a epidemiologically sound, data-driven basis, adhering to the latest Federal, State and Local guidance. The Census Bureau continues to monitor the changing conditions at the State and Local level and will update its planned start dates for selected operations and in selected states, consulting with appropriate officials.  

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

Under the adjusted 2020 Census operational plan, the Census Bureau is conducting a series of preparatory activities so we are fully ready to resume field activities as we continue to advance the mission of the 2020 Census to ensure a complete and accurate count. In-person activities, including enumeration, office work, and processing activities, will always incorporate the most current guidance from authorities to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public.

Area Census Office Reopenings

Component ID: #ti1657269842

View this map to see which Area Census Offices (ACOs) are restarting operations, resuming the Update Leave (UL) field operation, and completing the hiring response for Nonresponse Followup field staff.

For more information, please visit the Operational Adjustments FAQs page. You may also download and share the PDF version of this information below. 

Current ACO Restarting Status

This list will be updated accordingly as more ACOs resume activities. 

Download PDF
pdf   English   [<1.0 MB]

FAQs On Resuming 2020 Census Field Operations

Frequently Asked Questions about 2020 Census operational changes and field enumeration.

Download PDF
pdf   English   [<1.0 MB]
pdf   Spanish / Español   [<1.0 MB]
Component ID: #ti1312519921

 

  


 

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

Tentatively January 21 – June 19, but may need further review and coordination.

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

Needs further review and coordination with Island Areas governments and stakeholders.

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

Select ACOs starting May 4

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

Select ACOs starting May 4

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

Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.

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

Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.

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

Needs further review and coordination with outside partners and stakeholders.

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

Tentatively September 3 – September 28, but may need further review and coordination.

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

Component ID: #ti1865021930

Download or Print

2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

Timeline of 2020 Census activities and operations adjusted due to COVID-19.

Download PDF
pdf   English   [<1.0 MB]
Component ID: #ti969969392

 

  


Fact Sheet on Counting College Students

Outlines where college students should be counted in the 2020 Census.

Download PDF
pdf   English   [< 1 MB]
pdf   Spanish/Español   [< 1 MB]
Component ID: #ti1889699426

 

  


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.

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