Census Field Operations Restarting in Washington

The Census Bureau is pleased to announce that it will resume field operations in the state of Washington on Monday, May 11.

Census workers will resume delivering invitations and questionnaires to those households that did not receive them when all field operations were suspended in March as a result of the COVID-19 virus.

This operation will affect about 5 percent of the households in the state, primarily rural areas and households with PO boxes that do not receive mail at a physical address.  We call this operation Update Leave.

This work does not require any interaction with the public – census workers will not ring doorbells or collect census information.  They will leave a packet with a questionnaire and instructions about how to respond at the front door.  For information about how to identify a census worker, click here.    They will also wear appropriate protective gear as needed.

Once people receive their invitation, we ask them to respond as soon as possible; each household should use the 12-digit code included with their census invitation for quicker processing.

Self-Response Period — UnderwayMarch 12 – Oct. 31      
Field Operations Restart – UnderwayMay 11    
Update Leave — UnderwayMay 11
Group Quarters (paper and e-response)April 2 – Sept. 3
Group Quarters  (in-person enumeration)July 1 – Sept. 3
Non-Response Follow-UpAug. 11 – Oct. 31
Transitory LocationsSept. 3-28
Counting the HomelessTBC
Mobile Questionnaire AssistanceTBC

Other Updates

  • Census Extension. The Census Bureau has officially requested statutory relief from Congress to add 120 calendar days to the requirement to deliver final apportionment counts.  Under this request, the bureau would extend field data collection and self-response to Oct. 31, which would result in data to be delivered to the president by April 30, 2021, and to the states no later than July 31, 2021.  This is just a request and must be approved by Congress before any change to operations is made.
  • Call Center Capacity Increased.  As of April 14, the bureau is increasing the capacity of its call centers and is reinstating the callback option for the phone lines.  The callback option – callers can leave a message and receive a timely call back from a census taker – will be available in all languages.      
  • Questions about ZIP Codes.  Some people have asked why their mailing addresses do not seem to match where they live.  The Census Bureau does not use mailing address for a residence to assign housing units to the proper political jurisdiction or census geography.  Instead, the bureau uses the physical location of a housing unit to assign it to the proper geographic area.  The bureau recognizes that the post office “city” names associated with a ZIP may differ from the legal municipality or district in which the housing unit is actually located.  For more information, click here.
  • Rumors.  There is a rumor going around the country that census responses might be used to determine your eligibility for government benefits, including any potential stimulus package.  This is false.  Please continue to check the rumors page at https://2020census.gov/en/news-events/rumors.html for updated information.
  • COVID-19.  The U.S. Census Bureau is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 virus and is following the guidance of federal, state and local health authorities.  We appreciate your support and patience as operations are adjusted.

Recruiting for Jobs

The Census Bureau still has jobs available for the 2020 Census.  Almost every county has positions available.  Please help us spread the word.  Applicants can apply online at 2020census.gov/jobs.

 2020 Response Rate Map

Track your community’s self-response progress on the 2020 Response Rate Map.  Live data is updated every day about noon.  Please note that the 2020 map data does NOT include anyone counted via the group quarters or transitory locations operations, and other special operations in remote or certain tribal areas.  It also does not include responses collected during the non-response follow-up operation.

As of Sunday, May 10 the response rate for the entire state was 63.9%, meaning that 63.9% of all households have answered the census!

Top 20 Response Rates by County
 (as of May 10)
1Clark County68.8%
2Benton County68.3%
3King County68.1%
4Spokane County67.8%
5Kitsap County (tied)67.5%
 Thurston County (tied)67.5%
7Snohomish County67.3%
8Whatcom County66%
9Cowlitz County64.4%
10Walla Walla County (tied)64.1%
 Pierce County (tied)64.1%
12Asotin County63.9%
13Island County62.7%
14Clallam County62.6%
15Franklin County59.2%
16Skagit County59%
17Jefferson County58.5%
18Yakima County57.8%
19Douglas County54%
20Lewis County53.8%
Counties That Have Surpassed 2010 Rate
 CountyCurrent Rate2010 RateIncreaseDate Reached
1Jefferson County58.4%55.7%2.7%May 1
2Kitsap County67.4%66.3%1.1%May 6
3Island County62.6%62.1%.5%May 8

Census Webinars

Missed one of our recent webinars?  Recordings are available online from Washington Nonprofits.

Census Operational UpdateWatch
Statistics in SchoolsWatch
Social Media and Video ContestWatch
Health Care CommunityWatch
Higher EducationWatch
Tribal CommunityWatch
Faith-based CommunityWatch
Military VeteransWatch
Immigrants and RefugeesWatch
Young ChildrenWatch
Chambers of CommerceWatch
Migrant WorkersWatch
Small Towns and Rural AreasWatch

Made in Washington

Check out some of the fantastic videos produced by Washington partners.

Tacoma Refugee Choir

Spokane County CCC

Pierce County CCC

Southwest Washington Census Coalition

Ravishing Women

Association of Washington Cities

Congolese Integration Network

Voice of Planet (Hindi version)


Indian Association of Western Washington

City of Marysville (Snohomish County)

Alliance for Persecuted Peoples Worldwide
 (Punjabi)  (Kannada) (Sourashtra) (Telugu) (Tamil)

Latinos en Spokane

University of Washington Bothell

The Noble Foundation

NEW   Shoalwater Bay Tribe

NEW  City of Arlington

NEW   Yakama-Yakima El Censo CCC

NEW   Refugee Women’s Alliance

In Case You Missed It

Seattle Mariners Census Video

Gov. Inslee Census Message

Former Gov. Locke on King 5 News

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal

Former Gov. Locke Op-Ed in the Seattle Times

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Census PSA