U.S. Census Bureau to halt counting operation a month earlier than expected

The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)
The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)

The U.S. Census Bureau will halt its counting operation a month earlier than expected. (Courtesy U.S. Census Bureau)

In an effort to meet a statutory deadline of a completed census by Dec. 31, the U.S. Census Bureau announced Aug. 3 that it will halt its counting operation one month earlier than planned.

“We are committed to a complete and accurate 2020 Census,” U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham said in a statement. “Building on our successful and innovative internet response option, the dedicated women and men of the Census Bureau, including our temporary workforce deploying in communities across the country in upcoming weeks, will work diligently to achieve an accurate count.”

The census is a constitutionally mandated survey that is taken every 10 years to count each person where they live on April 1. The results are then used to determine federal funding allocations, government representation at the federal and local levels, and corporate decisions, all of which could have major impacts on residents as every year the federal government distributes $675 billion to states based on population, which is then divided among state programs, municipalities and local nonprofit organizations.

In April, the bureau extended its self-response deadline to Oct. 31 with plans to provide the final information to the president and Congress by April 30 due to complications from the coronavirus pandemic. The self-response deadline has now been moved up to Sept. 30 so that the bureau would maintain its statuary deadline of providing the data to the president and Congress by Dec. 31.

Dillingham said the bureau is committed to still collecting accurate data from all households including those in hard-to-count communities and will do so through additional hires and employee recognitions.


“We will improve the speed of our count without sacrificing completeness. As part of our revised plan, we will conduct additional training sessions and provide awards to enumerators in recognition of those who maximize hours worked,” he said.

As of Aug. 3, 93 million households, or nearly 63 percent of all households, have responded to the census, Dillingham said.

“The Census Bureau’s new plan reflects our continued commitment to conduct a complete count, provide accurate apportionment data, and protect the health and safety of the public and our workforce,” Dillingham said.