The new target date to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations will be on Monday, October 5, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said on Monday, Sept. 28.
“The Secretary of Commerce has announced a target date of October 5, 2020 to conclude 2020 Census self-response and field data collection operations,” an update on the U.S. Census Bureau’s website said.
This comes despite U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh of the Northern District of California issuing a preliminary injunction on Thursday, Sept. 24 that said the Census Bureau must continue its outreach efforts through October 31 in order to have a more accurate count. The deadline was slated to be Wednesday, Sept. 30.
Koh — agreeing with civil rights organizations and local governments like Los Angeles that filed a lawsuit against the Census Bureau and U.S. Department of Commerce — said that the current schedule would leave out many minority and hard-to-count communities that have yet to respond.
“An undercount in any locality matters greatly,” the judge wrote. “Even a small undercount of a subset of the hard to count population would result in the loss of federal funding.”
The once-a-decade enumeration — which can be done by phone (844-330-2020 for English), returning the mailed form, or heading online (my2020census.gov) — measures where individuals live as of April 1, 2020. That includes young children and infants, roommates, and family members or friends staying at the household, even if temporarily.
In addition to English and Spanish, completing the census online or by phone can be done in 11 other languages, including Tagalog (844-478-2020).
The results guide how over $1.5 trillion in federal funding will be allocated to states annually for resources, such as schools, health programs, and infrastructure projects. The data also determines the number of seats each state gets in the House of Representatives and the redrawing of legislative districts.
The national enumeration is at 97.9% of identified housing units, which includes 66.4% of self-responses and 31.5% responding after follow-up operations. Meanwhile, California’s self-response rate is 68.9% and 29.8% in nonresponse follow-up. (Christina M. Oriel/AJPress)