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Partners Play Pivotal Role in Increasing Census Response Rates

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In the runup to the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will conduct the most robust marketing and outreach effort in its history.

This will include calling on community partners to help increase participation in the 2020 Census and to eliminate undercounting among vulnerable populations.

The Census Bureau’s Integrated Partnership and Communications (IPC) program is responsible for conveying the importance of the 2020 Census to the entire population of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Island Areas.

Setting Priorities

Census 2020 Logo

The IPC team focuses on three priorities:

  • Educating people about the 2020 Census to improve the effectiveness of enumerators.
  • Encouraging and motivating people to respond to the 2020 Census on their own.
  • Engaging grassroots organizations to encourage hard-to-count groups and those who are not motivated to respond.

For the 2010 Census, the partnership program included both a national and regional focus, building ties with more than 300,000 state, local, and tribal governments, community-based organizations, nongovernmental organizations and advocacy groups, and the private sector.

More Partnership Specialists

The Census Bureau is seeking even more support for the next decennial census. For 2020, the Census Bureau plans to hire 1,500 partnership specialists at the local level, up from approximately 800 partnership specialists hired during the 2010 Census.

In addition to the added partnership specialists encouraging census responses, the 2020 Census will also have the most accessible survey in census history.

For the first time, the 2020 Census will feature an internet self-response option, making it easier for anyone, anywhere to respond at any time.

Other technological advancements will include leveraging digital and social media to tailor and direct messages, often times in multiple languages.

Overall, the Census Bureau will spend $480 million on marketing and advertising for the 2020 Census, up from $376 million in 2010.

Real-time Information Online

The Partnership website will provide information and tools, as well as a listing of existing partners (with their consent) for collaboration opportunities.

The website will provide near real-time updates to the database of partners and stakeholders, media, and self-response progress monitoring at the local level.

The Census Bureau plans to cultivate important partnerships with numerous national and Federal organizations, representing a host of industries, sectors, and interests, with reach across various programs that provide services to hard-to-count populations.

Through the new enterprise partnerships framework, the Census Bureau is improving upon its outward focus and technological advancements to keep in line with industry, academia, and local communities’ best practices for community engagement and outreach.

“The Census Bureau will be utilizing technology like never before for the 2020 Census,” said Kaile Bower, chief of the Integrated Partnership and Communications Branch at the Census Bureau. “We are excited about these innovations and look forward to seeing an increase in response rates.”

Jasmine Pridgen is a program analyst in the Census Bureau’s Integrated Partnership and Communications Branch.

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Page Last Revised - February 24, 2022
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