Timeline - 2020 Census

Updated timeline of operations due to COVID-19

The decennial U.S. Census has been characterized as the largest peacetime mobilization. It's a complex exercise that involves 35 separate operations, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Just as the data collection effort began, the nation shut down due to COVID-19.


Original schedule

New schedule

Self-response phase - online, phone, and mailed self-responses continue throughout the data collection process.

March 12-July 31

March 12-September 30

Group quarters (e-response and paper enumeration)

April 2–June 5

April 2-September 3

In-person group quarters enumeration

April 2–June 5

July 1-September 3

Update leave - census takers drop off invitations to respond and paper questionnaires at the front doors of 5 million households stateside while updating the addresses.

March 15–April 17

Resumed May 11

Non-response follow-up (NRFU) - census takers will conduct in-person interviews of households that have not self-responded.

May 13–July 31

July 23-September 30

Mobile questionnaire assistance - Census Bureau staff assists people with responding online at places people gather (grocery stores, etc.).

March 30-July 31

July 13-September 30

Service-based enumeration - working with service providers at soup kitchens, shelters, and regularly scheduled food vans to count the people they serve.

March 30-April 1

September 22-24

Count of people experiencing homelessness outdoors

April 1

September 23-24

Enumeration at transitory locations - census takers count people staying at campgrounds, RV parks, marinas, and hotels if they do not usually live elsewhere.

April 9-May 4

September 3-28

Deliver apportionment counts to the president

By December 31, 2020

April 26, 2021

Deliver redistricting counts to the states

By April 1, 2021

Late August 2021


Last updated
Monday, June 28, 2021
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