2020 Census: new efforts underway to ensure an accurate count; offer summer learning materials for K-12 students

Written by: Erica Manoatl
Date Posted: July 10, 2020

The 2020 Census continues despite the pandemic, and it’s as important as ever to get an accurate count of individuals in Colorado so that we can secure essential federal dollars for programs serving kids and families. We’ve reported in the past that children under 5 are the age group most likely to be undercounted by the census. In an effort to improve this count, last month the Population Reference Bureau began releasing data for large counties to understand current response rates in tracts that are considered high-risk for undercounting young children. In Colorado, response rates in high-risk tracts in Arapahoe, Pueblo and Larimer counties are trailing response rates in all tracts by about 10 percentage points. Please continue to get the word out about participating in the census across Colorado, especially in our high-risk areas where young children may be missed.

The Census Bureau also announced several additional operations at the end of June to ensure data quality and an accurate count of all individuals. Nationally, 38 percent of U.S. households still need to respond to the 2020 Census; in Colorado the figure is only slightly better, with 35 percent of households still needing to submit their response. To gather a more accurate count, these additional follow-up activities will take place in the months ahead:

  • Coverage improvement: Some households that have already submitted their response will receive a follow-up call from the Census Bureau to validate their answers.
  • Nonresponse follow-up: Area Census Offices (ACOs) will begin interviewing households that have not responded to the census toward the end of the summer and throughout the fall. These interviews will follow social distancing guidelines and workers will wear personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Nonresponse follow-up re-interview: Some households that received a nonresponse follow-up interview will also receive a second interview to validate their answers.
  • Post-enumeration survey: Some households will receive this survey so that the Census Bureau can collect any data that has changed since April 1 (Census Day).

Have your kids engage with the 2020 Census as well! The Bureau’s Statistics in Schools program has online learning activities for students in grades K-12 that can help them understand the importance of the decennial census.

No matter which Colorado community you call home, it’s critically important that you respond to the census and remind all your friends and family to do the same. Households in your county can respond online or by phone with just their home address. Join us in encouraging all Coloradans to take 10 minutes to complete their census form today, and help fund important programs serving our communities for the next 10 years!

Erica Manoatl

About Erica Manoatl

Erica Manoatl is the Research Analyst for the Colorado Children’s Campaign. In this role, she supports the organization’s research priorities, data analysis, and writing in all issue areas. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from George Washington University and a Master of Public Health in Population and Family Health from Columbia University.