4.1 Conduct a Complete and Accurate Decennial Census

Why is the 2020 Decennial Census important?

The Census Bureau serves as our Nation's leading provider of quality data about its people and economy. Every ten years, the Census Bureau conducts a population and housing count throughout the United States. The results of the decennial census determine the number of seats for each state in the U.S. House of Representatives and are used to draw congressional and state legislative districts and to distribute more than $675 billion in federal funds each year. Information obtained from the census and other surveys is openly available at census.gov/data website. Your response matters!

Strategic Objective 4.1 Progress Update

Conducting a complete and accurate 2020 Decennial Census is among the Department of Commerce's top priorities. The Department's Census Bureau made significant progress during 2019 across four innovative focus areas:
  • Eliminate the need to physically canvass every census block.
  • Enable people to respond via multiple modes (internet, paper, and telephone).
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the 2020 Census by utilizing federal and state information, and information from third parties.
  • Reduce staffing, infrastructure, and brick and mortar footprint for the 2020 Census.
Additionally, the Census Bureau completed operational readiness preparations and tests including in-office address canvassing, updating the Master Address File with new addresses from the U.S. Postal Service and the Local Update of Census Addresses, and forming 2,793 local 2020 Census Complete Count Committees as of June 2019. Temporary staff hiring efforts are also underway. All employees of the Census Bureau and temporary staff supporting 2020 Census operations are sworn to uphold these legal obligations, under penalty of law. To achieve this certification, all employees must: sign an affidavit of nondisclosure and receive Special Sworn Status, complete the necessary Data Stewardship and IT Security Awareness training, and complete Title 26 Awareness training with access controlled and tracked per Internal Revenue Service standards.
100% of 2020 Decennial Census milestones met
Years of preparation go into conducting a complete and accurate census. To ensure the Department is fully ready to carry out the 2020 Census, critical planning milestones were developed. These milestones include projecting costs, finalizing the wording of questions, developing strategies to obtain responses, and more. The Census Bureau has met 100% of these milestones since 2014 and is on track for the 2020 Census

Census data reapportions state representation
Every ten years, data from the Census is used to reapportion the U.S. House of Representatives to more accurately reflect each state's population. Although the House is reapportioned once every ten years, the Census Bureau conducts yearly surveys to estimate population changes.  This data supports decision-makers and researchers with updated authoritative information. 
The Census Bureau also provides access to thousands of publicly-available datasets, information, and tools such as the U.S. and World "population clock" and this How Does Your State Stack Up? interactive U.S. map widget.

I want to know more...
About the 2020 Census
census.gov/partners/2020 - For information on why the 2020 Census is important and how you can help make it a success
Census Bureau Youtube and Website - For updates on progress toward a thorough and accurate 2020 Census
About Census Bureau Data
census.gov/data - The main sources of information for Census data