Skip to Navigation Skip to Content

Census Field Operations Restarted

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, field operations for the US Census were delayed, resuming on May 25, 2020. Non-response follow-up visits from US Census staff began August 6, 2020.

What is Update Leave? Update Leave is when Census invitations are physically dropped off at a residence, and will take places in areas where the majority of housing units either do not have mail delivered to the physical location of the house (think PO boxes, mailbox clusters in neighborhoods), or where there is a high concentration of seasonally vacant homes. This applies to the Outer Cape especially.

Why haven't I received a census invitation yet? Census workers drop off census materials to some communities that don't generally receive mail at the physical location of their house. COVID-19 delayed delivery to some communities. Please wait to respond until you receive your census materials.

Will I have time to respond before the Census ends? The deadline to respond was extended to September 30, 2020 (from August). You will have plenty of time to respond with your Census ID, which ensures you are counted in the right place. If you don't respond when you receive your Census ID, a census taker will visit later to collect your responses in person. (Note: The deadline was originally extended through October, but has since moved up a month.)

Do I have to respond for my seasonal home? If you live at multiple places throughout the year, count yourself at the address where you live and sleep most of the time. If you split your time evenly between two or more places, count yourself where you were staying on April 1, 2020. However, a census response is required from each and every property.

For any property you use part of the time, enter the Census ID or address for this location at Enter "0" for the number of people living there. Hit 'next'; when a "soft error" occurs, click 'next' again. Select "No" when asked to confirm no person lives at this property, and select primary reason - "seasonal (most likely)".

More information is available on the Seasonal Home flyer from the Census.

How can I track my community's response? Please visit

Complete Count Committee Overview

The Cape Cod Complete Count Committee is a partnership of local, regional, state, and federal officials working to ensure the best, most accurate count for the federal 2020 Census.

The Cape Cod Commission, the Town of Barnstable, and Barnstable County are partnering to coordinate a Complete Count Committee for Cape Cod - working to ensure that all residents are correctly counted.

How are Census data used?

Census data is used in many ways, including determining the distribution of more then $674 billion annually in federal funds back to tribal, state, and local governments; redistricting of state legislative districts; forecasting future transportation needs for all segments of the population; and determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.

Some federal programs affected by Census Population counts include Special Education Grants to States; Title 1 Grants to Local Education Agencies, Head Start/Early Head Start, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Child Care Development Fund, and the Community Development Block Grant program.

The Complete Count Committee Guide lists 50 ways that Census data is used throughout the country, and this brochure from the Secretary of State's office outlines Why it Matters to You and Massachusetts.

What is a Complete Count Committee?

The Complete Count Committee program is key to creating awareness in our communities. These Committees:

  • utilize local knowledge, influence, and resources to educate communities and promote the census through locally-based, targeted outreach efforts
  • provide a vehicle for coordinating cooperative efforts between tribal, state, and local governments; communities; and the Census Bureau
  • help the Census Bureau get a complete count in 2020 through partnerships with local governments and community organizations

What are Hard to Count populations?

hard to count census tracts

The darker Census tracts were in the bottom 20% nationally for mail response rates in 2010.

These populations are hard to interview (highly mobile, people experiencing homelessness, physical access barriers such as gated communities); hard to persuade (participation hindered by language barriers, low literacy, lack of internet access); hard to contact (suspicious of the government, low levels of civic engagement); or hard to locate (housing units not in our frame or people wanting to remain hidden).

Cape Cod's hard to count populations include seniors/snowbirds, immigrant communities, homeless and low income individuals, people living in group housing, renters and young adults, and people with disabilities.

A Census tract is generally considered hard to count if its self-response rate from the 2010 Census mailing was 73% or less.

How Can I Get Involved?

For information about upcoming opportunities or to share suggestions for Census outreach, please email Jennifer Clinton, Community Development Planner, at

Additional Resources

Complete Count Committee Overview | Complete Count Committee Guide | Subcommittee Resources

Census Awareness Posters for Download

Videos of Trainings for Cape Cod Complete Count Committee: September 11 | November 13

Census Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) | Massachusetts 2020 Census Planner (Low Response Scoring)

Public Service Announcement Toolkit

Stories Behind the Numbers: Counting People in Rural and Remote Places


This video combines five PSAs into one easy-to-understand story about the 2020 Census. Watch this to learn what the 2020 Census is, how data are used and secured, how it affects representation, and how you can complete it.

US Census Bureau

  • Kathleen Kolva, US Census Rep for Cape and Islands

Cape Cod Complete Count Committee

Additional Resources

View All Resources

183K pdf
Nov 21, 2014
For more information contact the Cape Cod Commission, P.O. Box 226, 3225 Main Street, Barnstable, MA 02630 or at (508)362-3828
Search Circle Icon Search Icon Document Icon Video Icon PDF Icon CSV/XLS Icon