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Census Research Guide: 2020

About the 2020 Census

About the 2020 Census

Census Bureau's "By Decade" website - includes a variety of publications, questionnaires, datasets, and more


  • 24th decennial census
  • US population: 331,449,281
  • California population: 39,538,223

Questions asked (see questionnaire)

Information obtained from Person 1: Number of people in household, Additional people in house on April 1, Household owned or rented, Sex, Age, Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, Race

Information obtained from all persons: Usually live here or elsewhere, Relationship to person 1, Sex, Age, Hispanic/Latino/Spanish origin, Race


Finding Statistics

Social Explorer - remote access limited to UCSD affiliates - see what data is included

Finding Publications & Data Files

Find all 2020 census publications in the library catalog.

Data files:

2020 Census Results: Access Data - includes links to data on apportionment, redistricting, Congressional District summary file, Demographic Profile, Demographic and Housing Characteristics (DHC) File, Detailed Demographic and Housing Characteristics File A

2020 Decennial Census Data Tables

2020 Decennial Census Visualizations and Infographics

Background Information on Planning, Oversight, and More

Census Bureau Resources [via Internet Archive]

Census Bureau's home page for the upcoming census

Your Guide to the 2020 Census [via Internet Archive]

instructions on filling out the survey form

Advisory Commitee - CSAC

addresses census challenges including adaptive design, cyber infrastructure, demographic, economic and statistical research, technical and operational priorities

Advisory Committee - NAC

considers topics such as hard to reach populations, race and ethnicity, language, aging populations, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal considerations, new immigrant populations, populations affected by natural disasters, highly mobile and migrant populations, complex households, rural populations, and population segments with limited access to technology. Also advises on data privacy and confidentiality.

CBAMS Focus Group Report [via Internet Archive]

presents the findings from the 2020 Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Study (CBAMS) Focus Groups conducted among racial and ethnic minorities, those with low internet proficiency, young people who recently moved, rural residents, and audiences at risk of low self-response. Includes attitudes about inclusion of citizenship question.

CBAMS Questionnaire [via Internet Archive]

survey to help Census Bureau understand and compare participation barriers, attitudes, and motivators across demographic subgroups

CBAMS Report [via Internet Archive]

final CBAMS report used to answer the questions:
     Who intends to respond to the 2020 Census?
     Where do gaps in knowledge about the census exist?
     What barriers would potentially prevent people from completing the 2020 Census?
     What would potentially motivate people to complete the 2020 Census?

Census 2020 Background Documents

documents released via FOIA request; beginning at p.1289, addresses using administrative records instead of adding a citizenship question

Census 2020 Press Releases [via Internet Archive]

news releases from the Census Bureau about Census 2020

Census Advisory Committees

information about advisory committees, including CSAC and NAC

Monthly Status Reports [via Internet Archive]

monthly report on the preparations and status of operations for the 2020 Census

Operational Plans [via Internet Archive]

details how the Census Bureau plans to engage, educate, and count the population

Program Management Reviews [via Internet Archive]

quarterly updates on budget, schedule, work breakdown structure, acquisition, performance (outcome), risk, human capital, governance and transition, and communications

Questions Planned

information on the questions to be included in the Census 2020 form

Subjects Planned

information on the subjects to be addressed in Census 2020 form


operational timeline for Census 2020

Additional Resources

Assessing Miscounts in the 2020 Census (6/19)

research report from the Urban Institute

CA Census 2020

working to "ensure that Californians get their fair share of federal resources and Congressional representation by encouraging the full participation of all Californians in Census 2020"

Census Bureau Asks States For Driver's License Records To Produce Citizenship Data

requests for states to voluntarily share driver's license records

CountMe2020 [via Internet Archive]

San Diego and Imperial Counties census outreach coalition

The Community Speaks: A Report of the National Latino Commission on Census 2020 [via Internet Archive]

looks at issues such as the citizenship question, reaching immigrant communities, and the digital divide; offers recommendations for ensuring an accurate count of the Latino community

Dept. of Commerce, Office of Inspector General

comprehensive list of Census oversight reports by the OIG

Dept. of Commerce, Office of Inspector General: report on cloud security (6/19)

"The Census Bureau Must Correct Fundamental Cloud Security Deficiencies in Order to Better Safeguard the 2020 Decennial Census"

A Fair & Accurate Census

information from the Brennan Center, an NYU School of Law nonpartisan law and policy institute. Includes info on census basics, litigation about Census 2020, the citizenship question, and confidentiality of responses

GAO Reports, Testimony, etc.

all results of keyword search for "Census 2020"

GAO Testimony (4/19)

"2020 Census: Further Actions Needed to Reduce Key Risks to a Successful Enumeration"

Hard to Count Map

interactive map of the country that shows Hardest to Count tracts (areas with low self-response rates in prior censuses)

Higher Education Toolkit

guide for administrators to tailor Census outreach efforts on college campuses

House Oversight Committee - Census [via Internet Archive]

statements and actions on Census 2020 by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

IDEAS/RePEc articles

results of keyword search for "census 2020" in the economic literature database; includes some articles from Census Bureau staff

Librarians' Guide to Census 2020

ALA publication to help prepare libraries for the census (see also archived original version)

National Public Radio (NPR) Stories on Census 2020

collection of news stories addressing important issues around Census 2020

Pew Research: What Americans Know About the 2020 Census [via Internet Archive]

Survey released 2/20/20.

The 2020 Census: Frequently Asked Questions

Congressional Research Service (CRS) report, issued 2/21/20

Twitter - Hansi Lo Wang

informative Twitter feed of NPR national correspondent covering the 2020 Census