Montana 2020 Census Newsletter

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Respond to the 2020 Census - For Your Health

Your response to the 2020 Census means Montana will get its fair share of federal funding, more than $1 billion each year for healthcare programs alone. Montana hospitals, clinics, Medicare, the Children’s Health Insurance Program and more receive funding that depends on an accurate count. Nationwide, $1.5 trillion in federal money towards health programs is guided by census data.

The Census also provides the critical population data needed to prevent the transmission of communicable and infectious diseases. An undercount means states don’t have the right demographic information when trying to establish rates around disease tracking, outbreaks, and distribute the correct amount of public health resources to impacted areas in Montana. The government and health care providers are currently using census population data at every level to direct efforts and funding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respond to the 2020 Census here! 

2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau is adjusting 2020 Census operations in order to:

  • Protect the health and safety of the American public and Census Bureau employees.
  • Implement guidance from federal, state and local authorities.
  • Ensure a complete and accurate count of all communities.


Field operations will not resume until after June 1, 2020. Additionally, the Census Bureau is seeking statutory relief from Congress of 120 additional calendar days to deliver final apportionment counts to the President on April 30, 2021 instead of December 31, 2020.

Learn more here.

U.S. Census Suspension of Census Packet Delivery to MT Households

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, much of the U.S. Census operations were halted in March and all planned events by federal, state, local governments, local Complete Count Committees, and other partners cancelled. 

Since the Census Bureau cannot mail to a post office box or rural route address, these households nationwide have not received the 2020 Decennial questionnaire or directions on how to self-respond.  These households were to have received their Census packets through the Census Update/Leave Operation where packets are delivered to the door by field workers. 

As of April 12, 2020, 59.8% of Montana households had not self-responded to the Census. This is largely due to one in five (20%) of Montana households not receiving the 2020 Census packet of information from the U.S. Census Bureau due to suspension of Update/Leave operations. The current Census will resume field operations after June 1, 2020. 

The packet that is hung on the doors includes directions on how to fill out the Census including the 12-digit Census I.D. which matches the household to the Census Bureau’s records and a paper questionnaire.  Montana is second only to Alaska in the number of households that receive the 2020 Census packets via Update/Leave among U.S. States. In fact, the seven states with the lowest self-response rates are also the seven states with the highest number of households that were scheduled to get hand-delivered packets.

4/12 response map



You can do your part to help increase Montana’s self response rate.  Call or text your family, friends and neighbors to make sure they have completed the Census online or by phone. Post a picture with Census content on your social media to let your family, friends, and followers know that you were counted in the 2020 Census. Use the hashtags #MontanaCensus2020 #makeitcount.

Remember, no Census ID is required to fill out your Census! 

Montana is one of the states with the lowest self-response scores in the nation, as shown on the U.S. Census Bureau's map.This is primarily due to the 20-35% (or over 100,000 households) who have not received a Census invitation because they collect their mail at P.O. boxes or rural route addresses, which the U.S. Census Bureau cannot mail to. Although Montana has made great strides we still have a long way to go to obtain a complete count

Counting everyone in Montana is critical because it determines the state's share of federal funding over the next decade, and it determines whether Montana will get another representative in Congress.

fill out your form today

Complete the 2020 Census Now

Filling out the Census is quick, easy, and safe. It will take less than 10 minutes to complete and your information and privacy are protected by federal law.

The 2020 Census is now live and available to fill out online at

The 2020 Census can also be completed by phone in the following in over 15 languages or by TDD:


No ID Part 2

With the U.S. Census Bureau suspending all field operations until June 1 and potentially later, it means that households across Montana, especially those that are in rural locations or have a P.O. box, will not receive any Census material until the Census Bureau restarts their door-to-door operations. This does not mean that you should wait to fill out your form, because even if you have not received your invitation to participate and do not have your 12-digit Census ID you can still fill out your form now!


Students living away from home at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily elsewhere due to the COVID-19 campus closures. Colleges and universities are being asked to contact their students to remind them to self respond.

Resources for College Students and Educators:

Steps You Can Take to Ensure a Complete Count for Montana

  • Promote and 1-844-330-2020 for people to fill out their Census form online or by phone. 
  • Post a picture with Census content on your social media to let your family, friends, and followers know that you were counted in the 2020 Census. Use the hashtags #MontanaCensus2020 #makeitcount 
  • Get involved with your community’s Complete Count Committee (CCC). CCC's are volunteer committees established within communities to increase awareness and motivate the public to respond to the 2020 Census. A map of CCC's in Montana can be found HERE
  • Include Census information in mailings that you're sending out. To request free materials be mailed to you contact us HERE
  • Talk about the Census and become a trusted voice on the importance of a complete count. As a community member that people trust, your support of the 2020 Census can help other people see the benefit of filling out their 2020 Census form. 
  • Distribute the Montana public service announcements (PSA) on personal or business social media platforms, websites, newsletters, or other digital communication channels.



These events are current as of April 8, 2020, but are subject to change as the U.S. Census Bureau revises its operations in response to COVID-19. Check with event organizers regarding local events and go to 2020CENSUS.GOV for the latest U.S. Census Bureau operations updates.

March 12 – October 31: Self Response Phase

Group Quarters: April 2 but Extended to September 3, 2020

June 1: Resume Field Operations:

June 13 – July 9: Update/Leave

June 14 – July 29: Update/Enumerate

July 1 – September 3: In-person Group Quarters Enumeration

August 11 – October 31: Non-response Follow-up

April 30, 2021: Deliver by April 30, 2021

Operations and dates for counting of those experiencing Homeless and those in Transitory Locations is still under review



City commissioner: Census count critical for funding, fair representation - GREAT FALLS TRIBUNE

Complete Count Committee' urges Cascade County citizens to fill out 2020 Census form - KHQ

The Census and Voting: Know the Differences - CHAR-KOOTSA NEWS

Self-Responding to the 2020 Census is more important than ever for Montana - VALLEY JOURNAL

2020 Census questionnaires arriving in mailboxes - SIDNEY HERALD


To be routed to your local U.S. Census Bureau office Call                       
855-562-2020 select option 3, and enter your zip code. 

Reach Out to a Montana Census 2020 Partnership Specialist.

Jeri Bucy
Montana Partnership Specialist
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (406) 302-2227

Chance Gillette
Montana Partnership Specialist
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: 406-850-0199

Jihan Khalaf
Montana Partnership Specialist
U.S. Census Bureau 
Phone: 406-439-3383

Colleen M. McCarthy
Montana Partnership Specialist U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: (406) 302-2226

For Media Requests Please Contact:

Josh Manning
Media Specialist
Dallas Regional Census Office, US Census Bureau
(406) 422-6475



Have you been working on community outreach for the Census? Or do you have a success story you'd like to share? Contact us HERE for a chance to be published in the next newsletter and have your next digital event displayed on the 2020 Census Events Calendar at CENSUS.MT.GOV.