Show The Graduate Center Menu
 
 

Fewer Area Census Offices Proposed for 2020

Posted April 17, 2018

For the 2010 Census, there were almost 500 Local Census Offices (LCOs) nationwide (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico). Those LCOs carried out important tasks such as:

  • hiring staff who updated address lists and maps,
  • conducting door-to-door visits to unresponsive households and other counting operations (such as the enumeration of group facilities), and
  • generally serving as the Census Bureau’s "eyes and ears" on the ground, as well as its "face" in the community.

These LCOs employed as many as 1.2 million people over the course of the 2010 census (summarized in this list [PDF]), with peak staffing of around 600,000 during the door-knocking phase.

For the upcoming 2020 Census, the Census Bureau plans to open only 248 Area Census Offices (ACOs) for the same purposes. This memo outlines the ACO plan for 2020, with an accompanying list of proposed locations [PDF].

The cut in the number of local census offices (compared to 2010) affects almost every state, and many counties in urban, rural, and suburban areas across the country.

The following charts display the proposed reductions for the 50 states, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, as well as for the counties that will experience the largest drops in the number of local offices. (Charts are in PDF format and will open in a new window for easy printing/downloading.)

Figure 1: 2010 vs 2020 comparison by state
(click to open high-resolution PDF chart in new browser window)
2010 vs 2020 LCO vs ACO comparison by state

Figure 2: 2010 vs 2020 comparison for counties that will lose at least two offices
(click to open high-resolution PDF chart in new browser window)
2010 vs 2020 LCO vs ACO comparison for counties that will lose at least two offices

To view a map of areas at greatest risk of undercount — and which could be at further risk due to the proposed cuts in Area Census Offices — visit our Hard to Count online map.


For more information, contact:

Center for Urban Research

at the Graduate Center, City University of New York

cunymapping@gc.cuny.edu

All work and materials are supported by a grant from the 2020 Census Project

and developed in partnership with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.