U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Skip Header

How to Conduct Your Special Census

How to Conduct Your Special Census

The following steps summarize what is expected of each governmental unit that retains the services of the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct a Special Census.

Whereas the Census Bureau collects and tabulates the data, the governmental unit plays a major role in ensuring the success and accuracy of the Special Census through recruitment, community outreach, and provision of basic administrative services, such as paying local residents (hired by the U.S. Census Bureau) to conduct enumeration and providing office space.

For a Special Census, the governmental unit performs the following activities:

  1. Work with your community planner to determine the area in which you would like to conduct a Special Census.
  2. Request a cost estimate from the Census Bureau for your Special Census.
  3. Return the signed Memorandum of Agreements and payment for Census Bureau's services to the U.S. Census Bureau. Place in "reserves" the estimated funds required to pay temporary field staff (local residents).
  4. Meet with Census Bureau's Regional Office staff to make plans for Special Census.
  5. Review and update Special Census Boundary and Annexation Survey maps and return to Census Bureau.
  6. Recruit local job applicants for Special Census that results in a diverse applicant pool that is five times greater than the number of actual jobs.
  7. Provide space for testing applicants and training Enumerators, Crew Leaders, and Clerks.
  8. Inform and motivate your residents to be counted in the Special Census through community newsletters, public television, advertisements, public meeting announcements, press releases, church bulletin announcements, school programs, and other outreach venues that communicate to your residents the importance of being counted.
  9. Provide office space for Census Bureau staff that work on the Special Census in your community. The office space must be able to securely house Title 13 confidential data and is accessible only to Census Bureau staff during the day, evenings, and weekends. The office space needs to be secure and accessible to census employees for 2 to 8 weeks during the data collection phase. Depending on the size of your Special Census, the average office space needs to have 3 to 5 phone lines, a fax machine, DSL Internet connectivity and basic office furniture, including tables, desks, and chairs. The Special Census Supervisor and support staff will work from this office space.
  10. Pay temporary census employees (local residents) that work on your Special Census based on invoices provided by the Census Bureau's local office.
  11. Review preliminary count information immediately following the data collection phase.
  12. Receive Official Census Statistics on population and housing data collected for your Special Census approximately 90 days after data collection is complete. Detailed data products at the block and tract level will be provided within 14 days after you receive the Official Census Statistics letter.

If you have additional questions about conducting a Special Census in your community, please review the FAQ section on this web site.

One can also contact Mr. Michael A. Hall, Special Census Branch at 301-763-1429, or send an e-mail to SpecialCensusProgram@census.gov

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
Is this page helpful?
Thumbs Up Image Yes Thumbs Down Image No
255 characters maximum 255 characters maximum reached
Thank you for your feedback.
Comments or suggestions?


Back to Header