Census Timeline

Provided by www.census.gov
Updated as of 8/3/20 to reflect
Accelerated Data Collection Deadline

Completing the Census Form

January 21
Enumeration kicks off in remote Alaska
March 10
Start of field supervisor training
March 27
Start of enumerator training
March 12 - September 30
Self-Response Operation
  • Mailing 1: March 12-20
  • Mailing 2: Reminder letter, March 16-24
  • Mailing 3: Reminder postcard, March 26 - April 3
  • Mailing 4: Reminder letter plus paper questionnaire, April 8-30
  • Mailing 5: “It’s not too late” postcard, April 27-May 9
  • Mailing 6: Reminder (will not include a paper form), July 22-28
July 16 - September 30
Non-Response Follow-Up
September 30
Last day for households to self-respond online, by phone or by mail
December 31
Census Bureau delivers apportionment count to President of the United States
July 31, 2021
Census Bureau delivers count to States for legislative redistricting

Important Clarifications

  • The first mailing is not a postcard.
  • People cannot obtain a paper questionnaire by calling the Census Bureau.
  • The daily self-response progress reports will represent percent of all known housing units (occupied, vacant, or nonexistent), not people, that have self-responded via internet, telephone, or paper questionnaire. The projected national 2020 Census self-response rate is 60.5%.
  • The Census Bureau will not email or text people for the 2020 Census. Beware of scams!

Self-Response Operation (March 12 - September 30)

  • This includes approximately 95% of all housing units.
  • Approximately 80% of these units will receive a letter with a unique ID, inviting an internet response. This is the “Internet First” mailing.
  • The remaining 20% of these units will receive a similar letter plus a paper questionnaire in their initial mailing. This is the “Internet Choice” mailing.
  • All homes will receive a Language Assistance sheet with toll-free numbers for 13 languages. Households can call these numbers to ask questions or give their answers over the phone in the language of their choice.

Non-Response Follow-Up Operation (mid July - September 30):

  • Starting in mid-July, an area census office (ACO) in each of the 6 census regions will re-start the process of interviewing households that haven’t responded to the census yet. All ACOs will be reopened by August 11.
  • If no one answers when an enumerator visits a household, a “Notice of Visit” will be left at the door. This notices will include an online response code to encourage households to self-respond.
  • After one unsuccessful attempt to contact a household, the Census Bureau will determine if the household can be counted using high quality federal administrative records. Households that do not meet this standard will receive additional visits from enumerators.
  • After the 3rd unsuccessful attempt, enumerators can ask nearby reliable “proxy” (e.g. landlord, neighbor, caregiver, letter carrier, or on-site utility worker) for details about the household. If there is no proxy available, enumerators will continue to visit the household up to 6 times.
  • After the 6th unsuccessful attempt, some special case households will still be eligible for additional visits through the end of September.

Update Leave (May 4- June 12) &
Update Enumerate (June 14 - July 29) Operation

Check the CUNY Census Hard-To-Count Maps for additional information on how each tract will be initially contacted.

Mobile Questionnaire Assistance (Offered in Select Areas):

Enumeration of Transitory Locations (September 3-28):

Group Quarters Operation (July 1- September 3):