Montana 2020 Census Newsletter

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Latest News

Montana Census Self-Response Count Passes 50 Percent

On Friday, May 15, Montana’s self-response count passed 50 percent. That means we’re halfway there when it comes to getting a full count of Montana’s residents. Now that Census workers have resumed some operations in Montana, an estimated 200,000 Montana households that have not yet received an invitation to participate will get an official 2020 Census packet left at the door. The packet will include the Census form and postage paid envelope.  

The U.S. Census Bureau budgeted more than $1.7 billion for non-response follow-up and is asking Congress for more funding due to the impacts of COVID-19 on census operations. Census workers will make up to six attempts to get a complete 2020 Census questionnaire for each household.

Montanans can do their part to reduce the cost by filling out the Census on-line, by phone, or by mail which costs pennies compared to sending a U.S. Census worker to a household to fill out the form with the residents.

Great Outreach by Great Montana 2020 Census Partners

Great Falls Census Count

Great Falls/Cascade County Complete Count Committee, through their public library, was provided a $5,000 grant from the National League of Cities to promote the 2020 Census during these difficult times related to COVID-19. A portion of the grant was dedicated to coloring books for their grade school students. A big thank you to Susie McIntyre and the library team for providing 3,224 coloring/activity books for Kindergarten - 3rd grade students at Great Falls Public Schools!

Montana State Library Distributing Mobile HotSpots to Public and Tribal Libraries to Improve Internet Access to Montanans


Montana State Library's Mobile HotSpot program, approved at the May meeting of the Montana State Library Commission, will provide every library in Montana with a hotspot and a data plan for one year. The program is intended to allow libraries to provide WiFi access in their community outside of the library building or they may lend the hotspots to patrons for temporary use at the patron's home. Some libraries are expected to use the hotspots to extend their Complete Count activities - providing Montana residents with the opportunity to complete their Census form online even if they don't have Internet access at home.

The HotSpot program has also selected a few libraries to receive several HotSpots in a pilot study to understand how material lending and off-site programming can be supported to improve library services, overall.  

This program is the result of data collected over the past year regarding the increasing role that public libraries play in their communities in providing access to the Internet, and the lack of access to broadband in so much of Montana. According to BroadbandNow (August 2018), Montana has the worst broadband coverage and the worst average Internet speed of all US States. Most job applications require at least a portion of the process be done online, and businesses, ranchers and farmers must file reports online as well, so economic prosperity depends upon access. The 2020 US Census (ongoing through October) is encouraging as many responses as possible online. Libraries can help to fill this gap for the most needy and least served Montanans with this program.  According to the 2020 study on The State of Broadband Connectivity and Related IT Infrastructure in Montana’s Public Libraries, one quarter of public libraries in Montana are the sole source of free Internet access in their respective communities.

Montana State Librarian Jennie Stapp said, “By providing mobile hot spots to libraries, and through the pilot study, we hope to expand access now, and learn more about the impacts of offering cellular-data devices to Montana’s library patrons so that we can best support Montanans to thrive.”

For more information about the activities and services provided by your local library or to partner with them to utilize their hotspot to conduct a Complete Count activity, check out their website, call, or follow them on social media. 

The Montana State Library helps all organizations, communities, and Montanans thrive through excellent library resources and services. For more information about the Montana State Library, visit For more information about the Commission meeting, contact Jennie Stapp, State Librarian, at (406) 444-3116 or via e-mail at:   

MSU, Gallatin County Health Department, Gallatin/Bozeman CC and MAX the Count

MAX the Count

The Bozeman/Gallatin Complete Count Committee continues its amazing Census outreach efforts. Part of this great work includes a separate education effort launched by Montana State University (with a focus on students) and the Gallatin City-County Health Department. The University and Health Department staff are working together with partners to reach Spanish speaking populations in rural Gallatin County. MSU President Dr. Cruzado recently recorded a PSA video in Spanish which will be added to the site.

You can visit the Healthy Gallatin County 2020 Census Blog HERE.

job service

Partnership with Montana Job Service 

Across the state, Montana’s Job Services has continued its support of the 2020 Census.  From recruiting efforts to hire more than 2,500 Census workers to signing up as “Be Counted” sites for residents to safely respond on-line, the 17 job service sites are helping the state daily towards an accurate Census 2020 count. 

The Census is recruiting for Montana workers for the non-response follow-up expected to start in summer.   

2020 Census Operational Adjustments Due to COVID-19 

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. Census Bureau continues toadjust 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. 

Update/Leave operations began resumed statewide on the May 4, 2020. Full field operations will resume 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. 

Call In Your 2020 Census Responses Today

Responding to the Census by phone is an option that could work quite well for many residents. The whole process takes about 10 minutes. A live person answers the phone and takes the callers response (after some brief automated information is first provided). Here are some quick facts:

  • To begin, call 844-330-2020 or  844-467-2020 TDD (Telephone Display Device)
  • Have your 12-digit Census ID number available
  • Full language support is provided for 59 non-English languages; go to the Census “Responding-by-phone” website for more information
  • Hours of Operation: 
    • English and Spanish language – 7 am to 2 am Eastern Time
    • Non-English and Non-Spanish language – 8am to 10 pm Eastern Time
  • A callback option is available to better respond to requests during periods of high call volume. 
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. 


No Census ID No Problem

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!

The 2020 Census is 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 18, 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 

Extended from April 2 to Sept. 3: Group Quarters 

May 4 – July 9Resume Update/Leave Operations in Montana and other select states 

June 13 – July 9: Resume Update/Leave Operations nationwide 

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

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

September 3 – September 28 (Tentatively): Enumerate Transitory Locations 

April 30, 2021 (Proposed)Deliver Census Population Counts to the President  

July 31, 2021Deliver redistricting data to states 

Operations and dates for counting of those experiencing Homelessness are still under review.



Census count project changes with COVID-19 - VALLEY JOURNAL

College students must be counted in ongoing census - BOZEMAN CHRONICLE

It's time to stand up and be counted - DAILY INTER LAKE 

Montana one of the few states in the county to resume limited Census operations - CHAR-KOOTSA NEWS

Montana counts, as do Native-American communities - KPVI

Montana census resumes operations - DAILY INTER LAKE 


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



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.