Montana 2020 Census Newsletter

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reservation map

The Importance of the Census to Tribes and Reservation Populations

Making sure that Native Americans are accurately counted in Census 2020 is a top focus of the Montana State Complete Count Committee. More than 29,000 reservation-area households in Montana have yet to receive an invitation to respond to the Census. Reservations and rural areas in the state also lack city-style street addresses, which prevents them from receiving Census materials by mail.

An accurate count of tribal and reservation areas is critical to those populations. Federal funding for Indian schools, education programs, health programs, housing programs, water and sewage projects, roads, and economic development are distributed based on data collected by the Census Bureau.

With the Census Bureau staff not resuming full field operations until June, the Montana Complete Count Committee is working hard with tribal partners to make sure tribal and reservation populations are not missed in the count. You can do your part by educating others on the benefits of being counted and reassure tribal members and reservation residents that their questionnaire responses are confidential.

census worker

Some Update/Leave Field Operations to Resume

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Monday that Montana will be one of a few states in the nation to resume update/leave operations. During this operation, census employees with identification and wearing full personal protective equipment will leave census packets on doors of households who are in the update leave areas and have yet to respond to the 2020 Census.

Originally scheduled to start in March, the spreading COVID-19 virus, and subsequent stay-at-home orders, forced the U.S. Census Bureau in mid-March to halt field operations such as hiring and training, reaching out to college students in off-campus housing and dropping off paper questionnaires to households without traditional addresses.

Remember, the U.S. Census Bureau is required by law to protect your information. The Census Bureau is not permitted to publicly release anyone’s responses in a way that could identify a person or household.

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.

Some Update / Leave operations will start on the May 4, 2020 but full field operations will not resume until after June 1, 2020 extended to October 31, 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.

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

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 May 5, 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

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

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

September 3 – September 28: Enumerate Transitory Locations

April 30, 2021 (Proposed): Deliver to the President

July 31, 2021: Deliver redistricting data to states

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


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!



Your guide to the 2020 census questionnaire - THE CONVERSATION 

Census field operations restart this week on limited basis - ASSOCIATED PRESS


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.