2020 Census Invitations Arrive March 12-20
Ninety-five percent or about 143 million households in the country will receive an initial invitation to respond to the 2020 Census in their mailboxes between March 12 and 20. The U.S. Census Bureau released informational copies today of the invitations, the enclosed materials, and the subsequent reminders households will receive. These materials can help the public know what to expect and avoid potential scams.
In areas where 20 percent or more of the households need Spanish assistance, the invitations will be in both English and Spanish.
U.S. Census Bureau Hosts 2020 Census Kickoff Event
The U.S. Census Bureau will host a 2020 Census Kickoff event in Atlanta, Georgia as invitations to respond to the 2020 Census are arriving across the country March 12-20. This event brings together local and national partners and Census Bureau representatives to notify the nation it is officially time to respond to the 2020 Census.
There will be a news conference followed by one-on-one interviews broadcast live on Census Live.
READY TO HIRE: Census Bureau Reaches Highest Recruiting Goals, Begins Selections for Census Takers
The U.S. Census Bureau is beginning its selection process to hire up to 500,000 census takers for the 2020 Census.
“America has answered the call, and is ready to answer the 2020 Census,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “With unemployment rates at historic lows, recruiting is a big challenge. I congratulate our recruitment staff, and our community partners for recruiting more than 2.6 million applicants nationwide.”
Beginning in May 2020, census takers, also known as enumerators, will go door to door across the country to count people in households that have not responded to the census online, by phone or on paper. To have a robust hiring pool, the Census Bureau seeks four or more applicants for each position.
Census Response Rates
The U.S. Census Bureau launched a new online map this week as part of its 2020 Census Response Rate Challenge — where state, local and community leaders work together to promote a complete and accurate count by increasing the self-response rate in their community. The preview map currently displays 2010 Census self-response rates as a reference point for states, counties, cities and census tracts around the country. Users will be able to use the map to track their community’s progress in responding to the 2020 Census.
As people begin responding to the 2020 Census online, by phone or by mail in mid-March, the Census Bureau will update the map daily to reflect the percentage of households that self-respond online, by phone or by mail after being invited to do so. (The rate will be provided for the three modes combined and for online alone.)
2020 Census Response Rate Challenge Toolkit
The Census Bureau has released a downloadable toolkit geared toward helping leaders plan a Response Rate Challenge for the 2020 Census. The new toolkit encourages leaders in every town, city and state to challenge their communities to improve upon their 2010 Census response rates in the upcoming national census.
2020 Census Important Dates
- March 12-20: Initial invitations to respond online and by phone will be delivered by the U.S. Postal Service. Areas that are less likely to respond online will receive a paper questionnaire along with the invitation to respond online or over the phone.
- March 16-24: Reminder letters will be delivered.
- March 26-April 3: Reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not responded.
- March 30 - April 1: The Census Bureau will count people who are experiencing homelessness over these three days. As part of this process, the Census Bureau counts people in shelters, at soup kitchens and mobile food vans, on the streets, and at non-sheltered, outdoor locations such as tent encampments.
- April 1: Census Day is observed nationwide. By this date, every home will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census. Once the invitation arrives, you should respond for your home in one of three ways: online, by phone, or by mail. When you respond to the census, you’ll tell the Census Bureau where you live as of April 1, 2020.
- April: Census takers will begin visiting college students who live on campus, people living in senior centers, and others who live among large groups of people. Census takers also begin conducting quality check interviews to help ensure an accurate count.
- April 8-16: Reminder letters and paper questionnaires will be delivered to remaining households that have not responded.
- April 20-27: Final reminder postcards will be delivered to households that have not yet responded before census takers follow up in person.
- May 13: If a household does not respond to any of the invitations, a census taker will follow up in person. This operation begins on May 31 and is scheduled to end by July 31.