Data Shows 2020 Census is a Success, Even During a Pandemic

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Posted: Oct 26, 2020 10:50 AM
Data Shows 2020 Census is a Success, Even During a Pandemic

Source: AP Photo/Michelle R. Smith

Data from the Census Bureau shows that the response rate for the 2020 Census broke the previous records on the books. This year’s national census recorded a 99.98 percent response rate from housing units and addresses across the country. The 2020 Census’ self-response rate was recorded at 67 percent as of October, compared to 66.5 percent in 2010. The high response rate also accounts for the Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) operation, which helps determine the status of housing units that are unresponsive to the survey. The program aims to establish whether unresponsive units are occupied or vacant; if a unit is found to be occupied, the NRFU will account for it accordingly. 

The 2020 Census also had better reach, even in the midst of a global pandemic. The federal government reached 152 million units during this census cycle, compared to 132 million units in 2010. The bureau and other federal officials credit technological advancements and the overwhelmingly cooperation from Americans for the success of the 2020 Census.

"The 2020 Census data collection operations are the most technologically advanced, efficient, and successful in our Nation’s history, completing 99.98 percent of our work across the Nation. The 2020 Census had greater success in reaching people and resolving our address list. Even in face of the global pandemic, the 2020 Census operations thrived, and our innovations allowed the Census Bureau to adapt operations and get the job done weeks ahead of schedule, distributing and utilizing 42 million piece of personal protective equipment, and working through severe weather events," said Dr. John Fleming, Assistant to the President for Planning and Implementation. "We are proud of the way that Americans worked during this time to complete the census successfully, from the general public who responded online, by phone, and by mail, to the hundreds of thousands of partner organizations and census takers who worked to count their communities and the entire nation."

Data collection concluded on October 15, and the Census Bureau’s statutory deadline to deliver population counts is December 31.