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The 2020 Census must consider the unique challenges of the era and at the same time new opportunities with respect to information and technology. There were unprecedented challenges facing the U.S. Census Bureau as it planned for the 2020 Census.

Planning activities supported a new census design that fundamentally changed the way in which censuses are taken in the United States. We worked toward a design that made it easier than ever before to respond to the census - either online, by phone, by mail or in person.

Planning the Count

The Census Bureau's archives contain documentation on 2020 Census planning efforts including information on budgeting, establishing where to count, communication campaign research and planning efforts.

The archives include:

  • Detailed operational plans.
  • Decision memos.
  • Information from public meetings about the status of our plans.

Conducting and Motivating the Count

The 2020 Census was a massive undertaking. It required counting a diverse and growing population in the United States. To do this, the U.S. Census Bureau:

  • Made a list of every residence in the 50 states, District of Columbia, and five U.S. territories—including houses, apartments, dormitories, military barracks, and more.
  • Asked a member of every household to complete the census online, by phone, or by mail.
  • Followed up with households that did not respond on their own.

Materials related to motivating people to respond to the 2020 Census are available on the Census Bureau's archives. Examples of files available include:

  • Outreach/partnership materials such as brochures, posters, factsheets, and social media toolkits.
  • Language resources for responding to the census—available in 59 languages, from Albanian to Yoruba.
  • Response rates
  • Resources for Complete Count Committees.
  • The plan for building and engaging trusted voices at the national and local levels.

Processing the Count

Post-collection processing materials related to the 2020 Census are available on the Census Bureau's archives, including:

  • Final Response rates
  • Disclosure Avoidance

Releasing the Count

Release schedules, data product guides, and other materials related to the release phase of the 2020 Census.

Evaluating the Count

Brochures, program announcements, submission guidelines, templates, FAQs, etc. related to the 2020 Census Count Question Resolution. Other available materials related to the 2020 Census review phase include memos, handbooks, and summaries from the 2020 Census Evaluations & Experiments (EAE). 


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