1. What is the
Geographically Updated Population Certification Program
GUPCP is a Census Bureau-sponsored program that
enables local and tribal governments and other customers to obtain
certified Census 2000 population and housing counts for updated or newly
established governmental unit boundaries. A geographically updated
population certificate confirms that an official population count is an
accurate re-tabulation of 2010 Census population and housing counts based
upon boundary updates legally effective after January 1, 2010, the date
for boundaries used in tabulating the 2010 Census.
2. How is a Geographically Updated Population
Certification different from a certified Special Census population count?
As stated in question 1, a Geographically Updated
Population Certification is a re-tabulation of 2010 Census
population and housing counts within new boundaries. (“New” boundaries
are boundaries that become effective after January 1, 2010, the date for
boundaries used to report 2010 Census data.) The geographically updated
certified count will include only the population and housing that existed
and was counted at the time of the 2010 Census. It will not include counts
for new housing or group quarters (i.e. nursing homes, college
dormitories, prisons, etc.) population. In other words, if a local
government wants to know the population within a housing development built
after the 2010 Census was taken, they could not get that information from
A Special Census is an actual enumeration of
housing and group quarters of a specific area, conducted on a specified
date. Unlike the GUPCP counts, Special Census counts will include new
housing and population that came into the area after the 2010 Census. The
Special Census also will produce demographic detail for the population,
such as information on age, sex, relationships within households, race,
Hispanic origin, occupancy or vacancy status, type of vacancy, tenure for
housing units and any other information Special Census customers may
choose to collect through other questions added to the questionnaire.
GUPCP will provide only total population and housing unit counts. For
more information on Special Censuses, visit
3. Why would local and tribal governmental units participate in GUPCP?
In order to apply for state funding disbursements,
local governmental units may be required by state law(s) to obtain a
Census Bureau certified population count for their governmental unit in
its updated or new boundaries. In addition, federally sponsored programs
may require or honor a certified, official Census Bureau population count
for determining program eligibility or funding distributions. Local and
tribal governmental units also might need certified population counts for
other administrative or planning purposes.
4. Can I get a geographically updated population
and housing count certification for any geographic area?
No. At this time, the
Census Bureau is only offering geographically updated population and
housing count certifications for the following types of areas:
Federally recognized American Indian reservations and
off-reservation trust land entities. This includes a reservation
designated as a colony, community, Indian community, Indian village,
pueblo, rancheria, reservation, reserve, or village.
Counties and statistically equivalent entities, including
counties in 48 states; boroughs, municipalities, and census areas in
Alaska; parishes in Louisiana; and municipios in Puerto Rico.
Minor civil divisions in the 28 states in which they exist:
Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri,
Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North
Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia,
West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Incorporated places, including boroughs in Connecticut, New
Jersey, and Pennsylvania; cities in 49 states and the District of
Columbia; cities, boroughs, and municipalities in Alaska; towns in 30
states (excluding towns in New England, New York and Wisconsin which are
minor civil divisions); and villages in 20 states.
population and housing count certifications are not currently available
for other areas or individual census blocks split by boundaries.
5. How do I participate
Customers can print and fill out the request form
(Form BC-1869), available on the certification web page at
are also provided on this page. You can fax the
form to the Customer Services Center (301-763-3842), or submit the request
via e-mail CLMSO.firstname.lastname@example.org)
or phone (1-800-923-8282 or 301-763-INFO). A
letter or e-mail communication requesting the service without Form BC-1869
will be accepted only if it contains all the information necessary to
complete the form.
6. What information does the Census Bureau
need in order to process my GUPCP request?
Please date your request, enter
your name, the name of your governmental unit or entity, the county or
counties in which it is located, and the name of the highest-ranking
elected official. Please also include a contact name, mailing address,
phone and fax numbers and an e-mail address. If you need more than one
copy of the certificate, indicate how many copies are needed and where
they should be mailed, including addressee name(s), title(s), office(s),
and mailing address(es). In addition to the fee for the certification, there is a $35 charge for each additional certificate
Additional original certificates may be required by state governments or
other agencies before they will accept certified counts. For
example, the state of Illinois requires that the U.S. Census Bureau send
an original copy of the geographically updated population certificate
directly to their Secretary of State’s office, before they will
recognize the certified population. Because the Census Bureau is
not always aware of the requirements of various states and programs, it
is your responsibility to tell us where additional certificates should
Finally, we ask
you to provide the name, street address, census tract, and census block
of any large facilities, such as college dormitories, nursing homes,
military barracks, or prisons, enumerated during the 2010 Census that you
believe should be included within the new reported boundaries. This
will help us to ensure inclusion of all relevant facility population as
part of the certification.
7. Does a GUPCP
certification cost anything
Yes. Costs for a GUPCP certification are $622 for annual processing, and $1,934 for expedited processing. The type of processing depends on a number of factors, especially how long you are able to wait for the certification. Please call 800-923-8282 to find out which cost would apply for your specific case.
Should you decide to go forward with the certification, we will need to
collect the full fee before we can begin work. Payment can be made by
credit card, check, or money order. To
expedite paying by check, consider sending your check by courier to our
To send via Courier only:
U.S. Census Bureau
Attn: Certification Services
Customer Services Center, Room 1579-3 (MS 0801)
4700 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, MD 20746
Please make the check payable
If you plan to mail your payment
to us, please use this address:
U.S. Department of Commerce
Bureau of the Census
Customer Services Center, Mail Stop 0801
Washington, DC 20233
8. What exactly will I receive from the Census
The Census Bureau will produce a certificate, defined
as an “Attestation,” that is, a signed statement by a Census Bureau
official attesting to the authenticity of the certified 2010 Census population and housing count for the new or updated geographic area.
Customarily, the certificate is produced for the highest elected official
of the governmental unit requesting the certificate. If additional copies
were requested on the original certification request form, those
recipients will also receive original certificates.
9. How will the
certificate be shipped to me?
All population certificates will be shipped via courier service at no additional charge to you.
10. What if I
change my mind and wish to cancel my order?
If you decide to cancel, we will
offer you a partial refund. Refund amounts will be reduced by the costs
we have incurred for work we have already undertaken to fulfill your
request. If you cancel after you
have returned the maps and we have begun our processing, we will have to
recover our processing costs and your refund will be even less. Our
customer services staff will be happy to discuss the refund terms with
you when you place your order.
11. I have more questions. Where can I call to
discuss my request?
Contact the Census Bureau’s
Customer Services Center at 1-800-923-8282 or 301-763-INFO (4636), and a representative will
take your request and/or have one of our population specialists contact