Hard-to-count population - 2020 Census

Understand the typology of hard-to-count (HTC)

In every census, there are certain socioeconomic and demographic factors that include age, housing status, and language that can influence self-response. The traditional socioeconomic and demographic factors that have tended to correlate with lower levels of self-response have included:

The 2020 Census is the first occasion that online is the Census Bureau's preferred method of self-response. New socioeconomic and demographic factors may influence response rates, including older residents, households without computers or homes with inadequate access to the internet. You will want to reflect on your community and decide what factors might have an influence on participation – and it may differ from that which has been true in the past.

See it in maps


For each county in Washington, OFM has created tract and block group-level maps highlighting hard-to-count areas based on a variety of factors related to response rates.

U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau's planning database, which combines information from the last census and the American Community Survey, can be used to identify hard-to-survey areas. The Bureau developed the Response Outreach Area Mapper to use the planning database's information to identify hard-to-count areas.

Other data

Improving the Count of Young Children

The 2010 census missed more than 10 percent of all children under age 5 living in the United States. The failure to accurately capture data on young children has serious consequences for them, their families, their communities and the nation – with many of those consequences lasting for at least 10 years. The Count All Kids Committee is working with the Census Bureau to help them improve their plans to reach out to families with young children. Share this short YouTube video with your networks to help spread the word about the importance of counting all kids!

Internet access

Data from the 2013-2017 American Community Survey highlights households (number and percentage): (1) with no internet access, and (2) with access to the internet only through their cellphones. Data posted includes information by county, city/town and census designated places. This information will be important for communities throughout the state as everyone organizes for the first decennial census in March and April 2020 where the preferred method of self-response will be the internet.

In addition, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has mapped the number of residential fixed Internet access service connections per 1,000 households as of December 2016 based on broadband subscribership data. The map gives a view down to the census tract of service exceeding 200 kbps in at least one direction and service of 10 Mbps downstream/1 Mbps upstream.

Limited English proficiency

Counting the homeless population

Last updated
Friday, January 19, 2018
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