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2020 Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) Results for the 50 states and District of Columbia to be released May 19. Learn more.

2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau adjusted 2020 Census operations in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
  • Implement guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities regarding COVID-19.
  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

We adapted or delayed some of our operations to protect the health and safety of our staff and the public and make sure we counted the nation's population.

Adjustments to Operations

Self-Response Phase

Online, phone and mailed self-responses continued throughout the data collection process.

Planned Schedule

March 12 - July 31, 2020

Revised Schedule

March 12 - October 15, 2020

Nonresponse Followup (NRFU)

Census takers interviewed households in person. New dates covered areas previously scheduled for "Early NRFU."

Planned Schedule

May 13 – July 31, 2020

Revised Schedule

The Census Bureau began soft-launching NRFU on July 16, 2020. All area census offices completed their work by October 15, 2020. 

Group Quarters (E-Response & Paper Enumeration)

Many group quarters responded through our e-Response enumeration option.

Planned Schedule

April 2 - June 5, 2020

Revised Schedule

April 2 - September 3, 2020

Remote Alaska

Early operation to reach parts of Alaska which may be difficult to reach later in the year and whose populations depart for other activities. The operation was mostly completed on the original planned schedule, though some areas with year-round populations were enumerated when it was safe to do so.

Planned Schedule

January 21 - April 30, 2020

Revised Schedule

January 21 – August 31, 2020

Island Areas

Census takers interviewed households in American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This operation was coordinated with the local Island Areas governments. Census takers used paper questionnaires to interview households.

Planned Schedule

February 3 - June 30, 2020

Revised Schedule

February 3 - October 15, 2020

Field Offices at Peak Operations

Managers and staff commenced administrative, training, deployment and support activities for peak data collection operations. This included selecting and hiring field staff.

Planned Schedule

March 1, 2020

Revised Schedule

Phased re-opening May 4 to June 12, 2020

Update Leave - Stateside

Census takers dropped off invitations to respond and paper questionnaires at the front doors of 5 million households stateside while updating their addresses.

Planned Schedule

March 15 – April 17, 2020

Revised Schedule

Phased re-opening May 4toJune 12, 2020

Update Leave – Puerto Rico

Update Leave operations for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, approximately 1.7 million households, were coordinated separately.

Planned Schedule

March 15 – April 17, 2020

Revised Schedule

May 22, 2020

Update Enumerate

Census takers interviewed 2,000 households in remote parts of northern Maine and southeast Alaska

Planned Schedule

March 16 – April 30, 2020

Revised Schedule

June 14 – July 29, 2020

In-Person Group Quarters Enumeration

Group Quarters that remain as part of our in-person group quarters enumeration efforts began in July.

Planned Schedule

April 2 – June 5, 2020

Revised Schedule

July 1 – September 3, 2020

Service Based Enumeration

We worked with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve.

Planned Schedule

March 30 – April 1, 2020

Revised Schedule

September 22 - September 24, 2020

Mobile Questionnaire Assistance

Census Bureau staff assisted people with responding online at places people gather (events, grocery stores, etc.).

Planned Schedule

March 30 – July 31, 2020

Revised Schedule

Through October 15, 2020 with limited capacity

Count of People experiencing homelessness outdoors

Census takers counted people under bridges, in parks, in all-night businesses, etc.

Planned Schedule

April 1, 2020

Revised Schedule

September 23 - September 24, 2020

Enumeration of Transitory Locations

Census takers counted people staying at campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels – if those people did not usually live elsewhere.

Planned Schedule

April 9 – May 4, 2020

Revised Schedule

September 3 – September 28, 2020

Process Apportionment Counts

Upon completion of the collection activities, Census Bureau experts ran and reviewed output from programs to unduplicate responses, determine final housing unit status, populate any missing housing unit data on household size, and finalize the universe to be included in the apportionment count file. The statutory deadline to provide apportionment counts is December 31, 2020.  The Census Bureau delivered the apportionment counts on April 26, 2021.

Planned Schedule

By December 31, 2020

Revised Schedule

April 26, 2021

Process Redistricting Data

Census Bureau experts run and review programs to populate any missing demographic data for each household, run differential privacy programs to ensure confidentiality and run tabulation programs for each state delivery. The statutory deadline to provide redistricting data was March 31, 2021. The Census Bureau provided the redistricting data in a legacy format on our public FTP site on August 12, 2021, and delivered to the states and the public with the same redistricting data in an easier-to-use format on September 16, 2021.

Planned Schedule

By March 31, 2021

Revised Schedule

August 12 and September 16, 2021

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