The Census Bureau is ending all counting efforts for the 2020 census on Sept. 30, a month shorter than previously announced, the bureau’s director confirmed Monday in a statement. That includes critical door-knocking efforts and collecting responses online, over the phone and by mail.
The latest updates to the bureau’s plans are part of efforts to “accelerate the completion of data collection and apportionment counts by our statutory deadline of December 31, 2020, as required by law and directed by the Secretary of Commerce,” who oversees the bureau, Director Steven Dillingham said in the written statement posted on the bureau’s website.
These last-minute changes to the constitutionally mandated count of every person living in the U.S. threaten the accuracy of population numbers used to determine the distribution of political representation and federal funding for the next decade.
With roughly 4 out of 10 households nationwide yet to be counted and already delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, the bureau now has less than two months left to try to reach people of color, immigrants, renters, rural residents and other members of historically undercounted groups who are not likely to fill out a census form on their own.