JUNE 24, 2020 — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that it will send an additional reminder postcard to households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. The postcard is scheduled to arrive between July 22 and July 28, a few weeks before census takers are set to begin visiting most households that haven’t responded.
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the start of census taker visits from mid-May to mid-August, giving the Census Bureau the opportunity to send one more reminder to households encouraging them to respond online, by phone or by mail. Responding now minimizes the need for census takers to visit homes to collect responses in person. About 61.7% of households across the country have already responded online, by phone or by mail since invitations began arriving in mailboxes on March 12.
The Census Bureau also announced plans to send postcards to about 1.3 million post office boxes in communities that are required to use P.O. boxes for mail delivery. The postcards – planned to be sent between June 24 and July 3 – alert households that a census taker may drop off census invitations or visit later to interview them.
The Census Bureau does not mail census invitations to P.O. boxes because each census response must be associated with the physical location where people live, not where they receive mail. The COVID-19 pandemic delayed delivery of census invitation packets to some communities, but census takers have dropped off 96% of the packets as of June 18, 2020. Households are encouraged to respond to the 2020 Census as soon as they receive their invitation packet. When responding, these households are also encouraged to use the Census ID provided in the packet or their street address – not their P.O. box number.
The Census Bureau strongly encourages the public to respond online at 2020census.gov. Households can respond online or by phone in English or 12 other languages, or by mail using the paper questionnaire mailed to nonresponding addresses or dropped off at the door. Although census takers will begin visiting households that haven’t yet responded beginning August 11, households can still respond on their own until these visits conclude on October 31.
Households that receive a reminder in the mail after responding may disregard it. The reminder was sent before the response was received. Some households that have already responded will receive a census taker visit as part of quality checks on the census.
No news release associated with this announcement. Tip sheet only.