New Dates for the 2020 United States Census

The 2020 Census is underway and households across America are responding every day. Make sure you do your part and comply with the law!

Counting every person living in the United States is a massive undertaking and efforts begin years in advance. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau has adjusted 2020 Census dates and operations in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of Census employees and the American public.
  • Implement guidance from federal, state, and local health authorities.
  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

The 2020 Census will ask a few simple questions about you and everyone who is or was living with you on April 1, 2020.

Statistics from the survey determine how much federal funding California will receive for public services over the next ten years, the number of seats each state will have in the U.S. House of Representatives and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts.

For the first time, you can choose to complete the census entirely online, by phone, or by mail. Find out how at

Self-Response Phase: The public is strongly encouraged to respond online. (Options for responding by phone or mail are also available at Revised Schedule—March 12-August 14

Update Leave: Census takers will drop off invitations at the front doors of five million households. These households can respond online now—even without their invitation—by providing their address. Revised Schedule—March 29-May 1

Mobile Questionnaire Assistance: Census Bureau staff will assist people with responding online at places such as grocery stores and community centers. Revised Schedule—April 13-August 14

Early Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU): Census takers will follow up with households that haven’t responded yet around some colleges and universities. Revised Schedule—May 7-August 14

Nonresponse Follow-up (NRFU) and NRFU Re-interview: Census takers will interview households in person that have not responded online, by phone, or by mail. Revised Schedule—May 28-August 14

Group Quarters Enumeration: The Census is encouraging administrators of facilities like nursing homes, prisons, and student housing to choose an option for counting their residents that requires less in-person contact. Revised Schedule —April 16-June 19

Service Based Enumeration: The Census is working with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve. Revised Schedule—April 29-May 1

Census counts people experiencing homelessness outdoors: Census takers will count people under bridges, in parks, in all-night businesses, etc. Revised Schedule—May 1

Enumeration of Transitory Locations: Census takers count people staying at campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels if they do not usually live elsewhere. Revised Schedule—April 23-May 18

Deliver apportionment counts to the President: By law, the Census Bureau will deliver each state’s population total, which determines its number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Revised Schedule—by December 31

Deliver redistricting counts to states: By law, the Census Bureau will deliver the local counts each state needs to complete legislative redistricting. On schedule —April 1, 2021.


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Annemarie Donkin

Annemarie Donkin is a journalist who wrote for The Signal in Valencia, CA and was the Managing Editor for the Topanga Messenger from 2013 to 2016. She is thrilled to write for the Messenger Mountain News to continue the tradition of excellent community newspapers. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel throughout California, read, watch movies and keep bees.

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