COVID-19 Update: Now is Still the Time for Missourians to Respond to the 2020 Census

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Census is underway and more households across Missouri are responding every day. Fifty percent of Missouri’s households have responded to date, compared to 48 percent of the nation as a whole. While the U.S. Census Bureau is making some adjustments to its operations to protect the health and safety of the public and its employees, the response period for the vast majority of Americans is not delayed, suspended or cancelled. Online, phone and mailed self-responses will continue throughout the data collection process. It is important for Missourians to know that now is still the time to respond to the 2020 Census.

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting certain in-person 2020 Census operations, in order to:

• Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees;

• Implement guidance from Federal, State, and local authorities; and

• Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.

Accordingly, the Census Bureau temporarily suspended in-person activities in March. Steps are already being taken to reactivate offices in Kansas City, Springfield and St. Louis beginning June 1, 2020. Field data collection activities like Update-Leave, Non-Response Follow-Up, and Group Quarters Enumeration will begin shortly thereafter. The Bureau assures us that all in-person activities, including all interaction with the public, enumeration, office work, and processing activities, will incorporate the most current guidance to promote the health and safety of staff and the public. This will include recommended personal protective equipment (PPE) and social distancing practices.

Under this plan, the Census Bureau will extend the window for self-response to October 31, 2020. However, if a household does not respond online, by mail or by phone, a Census Bureau employee may be knocking on their door as early as June 1st. Therefore, our message remains the same: Respond to the 2020 Census today- Because Missouri Counts!


Your Missouri 2020 Complete Count Committee


This week, the Missouri 2020 Census Complete Count Committee launched a statewide media campaign to educate Missourians on the importance of being counted in this year’s census. The campaign will receive help from notable figures such as Ozzie Smith, Benji Molina, and Maya Moore and will utilize messaging developed by the Missouri Foundation for Health’s Missouri Counts Initiative.

Census Day is April 1, 2020. In mid-March, Missouri citizens will begin receiving postcards asking them to respond to the 2020 Census through the 2020 Census website or by phone or mail.

The state’s 2020 Complete Count Committee is asking all Missourians to make sure all people living in their household are counted. When all Missourians are counted, communities receive more funding for education, hospitals, roads, and more.

Below, you can find links to a summary of the Committee’s Media Plan, as well as a preview of the campaign’s creative work:

Media Plan Summary
Creative Work Preview

Important 2020 Census Information for Missouri Cities

The Complete Count Committee and Missouri State Demographer want to make all cities in Missouri aware of the following information regarding the Boundary and Annexation Survey program (BAS) run by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Census Bureau is now conducting the BAS. The BAS is the last opportunity for cities to properly document their corporate limits with the Census Bureau before the 2020 Census.  If the Census Bureau does not have accurate corporate limits for a city, it cannot properly determine which homes to count inside or outside of the city. This may lead to inaccurate count for that city.  An inaccurate Census count for a city can mean a direct, and significant, impact on a city’s federal funding for the decade following the Census. 

For more information, review the following resources from the U.S. Census Bureau: