Yesterday SCOTUS issued an order setting aside a lower court order that extended the 2020 Census through October 31, 2020, allowing the Trump administration to end counting soon. Last night, the Census Bureau issued an operations update stating that Census collection will end on October 15, 2020. Here’s what you need to know:
Self-response and field data collection operations for the 2020 Census will conclude on October 15, 2020.
This reflects the total enumeration rate, meaning all households counted through self-response—in which a household member fills out the 2020 Census form online, by phone, or by mail—or counted through the non-response follow-up operation when Census Bureau workers go door-to-door). According to the October 13, 2020 report, in North Carolina:
The 99.9% enumerated captures the total number of housing units that responded directly or were resolved during NRFU.
Only self-response rates tell us how many North Carolina households have been counted. The 36.5% of North Carolina housing units enumerated under non-response follow-up (NRFU) tells us the remainder of the housing units processed by the Bureau, but not whether (and how) they were counted.
Census workers can resolve households in NRFU in several ways:
Responses collected during NRFU are less accurate and less complete than responses obtained during self-response. Additionally, we do not know how housing units counted under NRFU were resolved.
We are still below our 2010 self-response rate of 64.8% and our rate is far below the national average. This low self-response rate puts North Carolina at increased risk of an undercount, jeopardizing our fair share of federal dollars for the next decade.
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