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The 2020 Census is Happening Now. Respond Today.

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This toolkit offers resources to help inform student journalists covering the 2020 Census as well as students participating in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) 2020 Bateman Case Study Competition. The Bateman Case Study Competition challenges teams of students to research, plan, implement, and evaluate a public relations campaign about the 2020 Census and to communicate how people can shape their future by responding to the 2020 Census.

Within this toolkit, you will learn:

  • What the census is and why it is important.
  • How census results determine political representation and shape decisions about spending for community services.
  • How college students are counted in the census.
  • How the census affects college students and their surrounding communities.
  • What resources are available on the census.

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The 2020 Census

The 2020 Census counts every person living in the United States and five U.S. territories—once, only once, and in the right place, as mandated by the U.S. Constitution. The census is conducted every 10 years by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data collected by the census determines the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to local communities.

Your response to the 2020 Census is important because it helps ensure that more than $675 billion in federal funds is directed to the right places to support education, roads, health care, firefighting, and more, each year. Many decisions about where and how to allocate funding are based on census data.

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Census Resources

See below for a variety of resources you may find helpful.

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Bateman Competition Resources

The Census Bureau and PRSSA have developed resources to aid student teams participating in the 2020 Bateman Case Study Competition.

PRSSA Bateman Competition Presentation

November 14, 2020 at 2 p.m. ET

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About the 2020 Census

For specific 2020 Census resources and an overview on why the census is important, check out the following:

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Census Data & Your Community

To develop a greater understanding of how responses to census data affect local communities, use the tools below to understand the needs of your community and how your community will be counted in the 2020 Census:

  • 2020 Census: Type of Enumeration Area (TEA) Viewer: An interactive map application that shows how different geographic areas will be invited to respond to the 2020 Census. This will allow students to learn how their specific college community will be asked to respond to the census and help communicate the value of participating.
  • A new platform to access data and digital content from the U.S. Census Bureau. Students can find the data they need in one centralized place.
  • Population and Housing Unit Estimates: A page featuring all the files containing population counts for the nation, states, city and town, counties, metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas, Puerto Rico and housing units. This information will help students learn about the makeup of their communities.
  • Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM): An application developed to make it easier to identify hard-to-survey areas and to provide a socioeconomic and demographic characteristic profile of these areas using American Community Survey (ACS) estimates. This application will help students as they prepare to develop a campaign on how to best reach out to their hard-to-count audience to participate in the 2020 Census.

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Hard-to-Count Groups

Relevant materials on hard-to-count groups Bateman Competition teams may target for their campaigns.


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Other Resources

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Contacting Your Complete Count Committee

A Complete Count Committee (CCC) is a group of local government and community leaders who help develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign, based on their local community, to encourage response. Members of your community can contact your local CCC and work with community influencers to spread localized messaging that resonates with the population in their area.

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Stay Connected

Stay up to date on the 2020 Census by following the Census Bureau on social media channels:

Have questions? Visit to find answers to frequently asked questions.

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