Census 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way our whole world operates and that includes the 2020 Census. This page will be updated as quickly as possible when the Census Bureau announces changes to their projected timeline(s) and programs. We hope you all are staying safe during this time.

What is the Census?

Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a population count to determine how many individuals (adults and children) are currently living in the United States. The data collected during the census is used in a variety of ways that affect decisions regarding community services provided to residents and the distribution of more than $675 billion in federal funds to local, and state governments each year. This important funding supports local programs for public schools, health care, community assistance, infrastructure and more. The census also determines the number of representatives each state will have in Congress. Census data is used to redraw state legislative districts and local political boundaries, inform businesses where population shifts have occurred, influence policy changes, spark community initiatives, and for consumer advocacy.

Timeline 2020

STATEMENT FROM THE U.S. Census Bureau: The 2020 Census is underway and more households across America are responding every day. Online, phone, and mailed self-responses will continue throughout the data collection process. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to: 1) Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees; 2) Implement guidance from federal, state, and local authorities regarding COVID-19 and; 3) Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

Under the adjusted 2020 Census operational plan, field activities would resume after June 1, 2020, as area census offices begin returning to full staff capacity. In-person activities, including enumeration, office work, and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance from authorities to ensure the health and safety of staff and the public.

Online Self-Response Opens
April 1st
2020 Census Day
June - July
Update Leave/Update Enumerate*
Mid August - October 31
Non response followup for households who have not completed the Census questionnaire
April 30, 2021
Census Bureau delivers apportionment count to President of the United States
July 31, 2021
Census Bureau delivers count to States for legislative redistricting

* The Update Leave operation is designed to occur in areas where the majority of housing units either do not have mail delivered to the physical location of the housing unit or the mail delivery information for the housing unit cannot be verified. The purpose of this operation is to update the address and map feature data for the area assigned and to leave a questionnaire package at every identified housing unit. The Census Bureau then returns to those locations about 2-3 weeks later to enumerate them in person if they still haven’t completed the questionnaire to determine whether someone lives there or not.

Why It Matters?

When any Virginian is not counted, we all lose resources. Responding to the census helps communities get the funding they need for local public services and helps businesses make data-driven decisions that grow the economy.

The census determines the resources that go to Virginia to help build roads and infrastructure, support hospitals, and provide public services to children, veterans, seniors and families.

In 2010, many minority and rural communities were undercounted which left many vulnerable communities without the resources they needed for the next 10 years. In 2020, YOU have the opportunity to make sure you are counted!

Virginia Counts Coalition Logo

Virginia Counts Coalition

Acknowledging the importance of the 2020 Census, Virginia Civic Engagement Table created the Virginia Counts Coalition. This coalition was created to include VCET partner organizations, national partners, members of the Virginia Complete Count Commission, non-VCET partner organizations and representatives of local complete count committees. The goal of the coalition is to ensure that Virginians who live in historically undercounted areas are accurately counted and increase the overall response rate to the 2020 Census.


Estimated Virginia Census Count in 2010


Estimated amount lost per year for each person not counted for the next 10 years


Programs that used Census data to distribute funds

October 31, 2020

Last day to self-respond to the 2020 Census!

Pledge to be Counted