Mobilizing Data-Driven Local Outreach for the 2020 Census

Funder: Annie E. Casey Foundation
Contact: Kathryn Pettit
Date: January 2018 - May 2020

Census 2020

NNIP's new project promotes data-driven planning for 2020 Census local outreach to ensure a complete count of young children and people of color, starting with a resource list for communities and pilots in with the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and Community Information Now (San Antonio). A forthcoming brief will outline the ways that local data and tech organizations can contribute to strategic planning and mobilization for outreach.

We will be pursuing two strategies:

  • Encouraging local organizations with data, analytic, and technology skills to provide analytic and convening support to local coalitions, and
  • Educating communities across the country on how to leverage local and national data to effectively activate community stakeholders for a Complete Count.



Local Outreach

  • Census Partnership siteLearn how you can be a Census Partner organization!  The website includes Census 101, a community outreach toolkit, mapping tools, and a description of ideation workshops that communities can host locally. Join the list to get updates.
  • Leadership Conference Census pageThe Conference is a civil and human rights coalition. It assembles great background papers and resources on why the census is important, the citizenship question, the hard-to-count population, and analytic reports.
  • Census 20/20 websiteThis website is from NNIP Partner Portland State University. It includes three sections: news and stories about Census data (Faces); barriers to getting out the count (Challenges); and best practices to get out the count (Tools).
  • Census 2020 employment opportunities: The Census Bureau is already recruiting for many field positions. Starting in Spring 2019, they will be hiring 76,000 people for address canvassing and in Fall 2019, they will begin recruiting for 450,000 field staff to support 2020 operations. Current field jobs are listed on the Census Bureau website and you can also sign up for email updates on recruitment efforts.


National Advocacy


Data and Research

  • Response Outreach Area Mapper: This interactive map published by the Census Bureau shows the tract-level Low Response Rate (LRS) -  the share of households predicted to NOT self-respond to the Decennial Census. The data are from the 2016 Census Planning Database.
  • Mapping Hard to Count Communities: This interactive map from CUNY Center for Urban Research has tract-level data showing the share of "hard-to-count" tracts (where the self-response rate in the 2010 census was 73% or less).
  • Home Internet Maps: The National Digital Inclusion Alliance has published an interactive map showcasing the brand-new tract-level data from the American Community Survey on access to internet and computers.
  • Counting for Dollars 2020: The Role of the Decennial Census in the Geographic Distribution of Federal Funds: This March 2018 analysis by Andrew Reamer identifies the federal programs that geographically distributes financial assistance based, in whole or part, on data derived from the Decennial Census; and establish the connection between Decennial Census accuracy and the equitable distribution of funds to states and local areas.


Funder Resources

  • Funders Census Initiative:  FCI 2020, a working group of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation, supports grantmakers by providing forums for funders to learn and strategize together; developing resources, such as a funders' toolkit. updates, fact sheets, analyses; and monitoring Census Bureau progress and tracking legislative issues.
  • Democracy Funders' Collaborative Census Subgroup: This is an informal group of about 15 local, state, and national foundations that convene quarterly to share updates on the latest issues, align strategies among the many funders, and determine grants of their pooled resources


Training Examples

  • MAPC Complete Count Committee 2010 Training:  These are slides and fact sheet about the 2010 Census used to train Massachusetts community members and public officials about the importance of the census to their state.


Undercount Resources

  • Fact sheets: The Leadership Conference has separate summaries on the 2020 Census and different racial and ethnic groups (African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans, Native Americans, and Middle Eastern/North Africans), as well as renters, young children, and people with low-incomes.
  • Undercount of Young Children: Count All Kids website from Partnership for America’s ChildrenKIDS COUNT Data Book essay  and Leadership Council fact sheet


See all NNIP items related to the data sources:
Decennial Census 2020

Participating Partners:

Urban Institute