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Census 2020

Census Data Collection Deadline Set for Sept 30

The census provides critical data that lawmakers, business owners, teachers, and many others use to provide daily services, products, and support for you and your community. Every year, billions of dollars in federal funding go to hospitals, fire departments, schools, roads, and other resources based on census data. These include:

  • Title I Funds
  • Special Education
  • School Lunch Program
  • Student Loans/Pell Grants
  • Head Start

To meet its statutory deadline to deliver the results of the 2020 Census by Dec. 31, 2020, the Census Bureau recently announced that it would complete the data collection phase of the census on Sept. 30.

At that time, all field data collection operations will cease, and the online questionnaire and call centers will shut down.

The bureau’s new plan reflects its continued commitment to conduct a complete count, provide accurate apportionment data, and protect the health and safety of the public and census workers.

Some of the plan’s elements include:

  • Telephone Follow-Up.The bureau will supplement its in-person, follow-up phase with phone calls to some non-responding households.    If voicemail is available, a message will be left asking the household to call one of the call centers.
  • Notice of Visit.  “Notice of Visit” messages (sample below) will be left at residences if no one is home; they will include information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.  These messages proved successful in encouraging people to self-respond.
  • Seventh Mailing.  Beginning in late August, a seventh mailing – which will include a paper questionnaire – will be sent to non-responding households in the lowest-responding census tracts.
  • Email Reminder.More than 20 million households in low-responding areas will receive an email reminder.  Emails will be sent to all households in census block groups with a response rate of lower than 50 percent; and may include households that have already responded.  The emails will come from and will give recipients the ability to opt out of future messages. 
  • Additional Paid Advertising.  A series of new advertisements – in more than 40 non-English languages – will start to air across the country.


Non-Response Follow-Up Underway

NRFU operations – where census workers go door-to-door to collect information from households that have not self-responded – are underway across the state.     

Census workers will wear face masks and follow CDC and local health guidelines while going door-to-door.  All workers will complete a virtual COVID-19 training program before beginning their work.

What to Expect

Census workers, who are hired from the local community, will visit non-responding households and interview residents to collect census information.  All census workers speak English, and many are bilingual.  If a census worker does not speak a householder’s language, they will have materials to help identify the correct language and assist the person to answer the census.

If no one is home during the visit, the census worker will leave a notice on the door with information about how to respond online, by phone or by mail.

How To Identify Workers

Census workers will have a valid government ID with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark and an expiration date on the badge (example below).  They will also have a census bag and an iPad or mobile phone with them.

Anyone wishing to confirm a census worker’s identity can call the Los Angeles Regional Census Office at 213.314.6500.

Other Updates:

Mobile Questionnaire Assistance Centers (MQAs).  Census workers are providing MQAs to help people answer the census in various counties across the state.  Selected locations are high-traffic areas in specific Census Bureau-identified low-response areas.  The MQA operation is expected to continue until Sept. 30.  

  • Wi-Fi Hotspots.  Looking for a place in your community to access the internet?  Check out the state’s interactive location mapthat shows free drive-in Wi-Fi hotspots around the state.  Access is free for all residents.  While most Wi-Fi hotspots are in parking lots, some are inside.
  • Questions about ZIP Codes.  Some people have asked why their mailing addresses do not seem to match where they live.  The Census Bureau does not use mailing address for a residence to assign housing units to the proper political jurisdiction or census geography.  Instead, the bureau uses the physical locationof a housing unit to assign it to the proper geographic area.  The bureau recognizes that the post office “city” names associated with a ZIP may differ from the legal municipality or district in which the housing unit is actually located.  For more information, click here.
  • Census Phone Calls.Occasionally, the Census Bureau follows up with phone calls to ask questions about completed questionnaires.  This is done to make sure no one is left off the census or is counted more than once.  These phone calls are conducted by a contractor to the bureau called Maximus.   If you think you missed a call from the Census Bureau or received a call but want to confirm it is legitimate, please call 844.809.7717 (English) or 844.809.7718 (Spanish).  
  • COVID-19.  The U.S. Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 virus and is following the guidance of federal, state, and local health authorities.  We appreciate your support and patience as operations are adjusted.

 Rumor Control Center 

  • Data Breach.   The rumor that a data breach of 200 million personal records from the Census Bureau is false.  Analysis indicates the data breach came from a data marketing firm or credit card company.
  • Eligibility for Benefits .  The rumor that census responses might be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits, including any stimulus packages, is false
  • Census Bureau Rumors Page.

 2020 Response Rate Map

In case you missed it, Washington state reached the final 2010 self-response rate on June 29 when 67.2% of all households in the state had answered the census.  We became only the second state in the country to reach this important milestone! 

Track your community’s self-response progress on the 2020 Response Rate Map.  Live data is updated every day about noon.  Please note that the 2020 map data does NOT include anyone counted via the group quarters or transitory locations operations, and other special operations in remote or certain tribal areas.  It also does not include responses collected during the non-response follow-up operation.