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Now Available: 2020 Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) Results for the 50 states and District of Columbia.

Post-Enumeration Surveys

The purpose of the Post-Enumeration Survey is to measure the accuracy of the census.  The survey measures the accuracy of the census by independently surveying a sample of the population.

The U.S. Census Bureau has used post-enumeration surveys with dual system estimation to measure coverage in the Decennial Censuses of Population and Housing since 1980. This approach involves case-by-case matching of persons in an independent survey with persons in the census to determine who was missed or counted in error.


  • 2020
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Post-Enumeration Surveys

The post-enumeration survey-based coverage measurement program associated with the 2020 Census is called the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES).

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The 2020 PES was designed to support national-level and state-level estimates of census coverage.

The primary goal of the 2020 Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) program was to measure coverage error in the 2020 Census such that this information could be used to improve the coverage of future censuses. Fieldwork for the 2020 PES began in January 2020 and ended in February 2022.

The first release provides estimates of population coverage overall and for important demographic groups for the nation. The second release will provide estimates of population coverage for states and by some census operations, as well as for coverage of housing units.

Product Releases

Coverage Reports and Data

pdf Census Coverage Estimates for People in the United States by State and Census Operations [<1.0 MB]
June 13, 2022: This report was republished to add clarity to a data label. For information about what was revised, see the note on page 2 of the report.

Methodology Reports

Coverage Reports and Data

Methodology Report

To be released in Summer 2022:

Coverage Reports

  • Estimates of Coverage for Housing Units in the United States
    • National coverage estimates of housing units (breakouts including coverage estimates of occupied housing units, vacant housing units, single units, mobile homes, housing units that are rented, housing units that are owned, …)
  • Estimates of Coverage for Puerto Rico

Methodology Reports

  • Estimation Design
  • Estimation Methods: Addressing Missing Data for Housing Units (status of match and correct enumeration)
  • Estimation Methods: Estimation of Net Coverage
  • Estimation Methods: Estimation of Components
  • Source and Accuracy Statement: Housing Unit

Latest News

Related Information

Additional Documents


Provides an overview of coverage estimates for people of the United States by state and census operations, presented: May 19, 2022.

Provides an overview of the survey, presented during the National Advisory Committee Spring Meeting: May 6-7, 2021.

Describes changes because of the COVID-19 pandemic, early response rates and how we’re addressing correlation bias, presented during the Census Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting: March 18-19, 2021.

pdf Presentation: 2020 Census: Post-Enumeration Survey [<1.0 MB]
Presented during the JASON Winter Study: 2020 Census Quality Process Assessment: January 7, 2021.
pdf Presentation: 2020 Post-Enumeration Survey Update [<1.0 MB]
Presented during the Federal-State Cooperative for Population Estimates Meeting: September 23, 2020.

Provides an overview of PES methodology, presented during the Census Scientific Advisory Committee Meeting: September 17–18, 2020.

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