Montana 2020 Census Newsletter

Montana Census 2020 Banner


Letters to the Editor

Newspaper icon

Each week we will be featuring an idea you can use to help increase Montana's self-response rate to the 2020 Census. This week’s idea is to write a sample letter to the editor that you can customize for your community. Having a trusted voice in the local paper can help spur those hesitating to fill out the Census.

Here's an example:

The COVID-19 pandemic can make everything else, including the Census, seem less important. But completing your Census form provides important data that’s used to help fund hundreds of programs that help Montanans, including Medicare and Medicaid, school lunches, health centers, WIC and SNAP. Without claiming our fair share of federal funds, these critical services could be in danger of cuts.

Census counts are used to determine how federal funding is distributed. Montana receives almost $2,000 every year for each Montanan counted in the Census for things like highway projects, health care, education, housing, and more. But for every person not counted, our community will lose out on $20,000 over the next decade.

Montana currently has a self-response rate of under 56 percent. That means more than 225,000 Montana households have not completed their forms and have not been counted.

Door knockers from the U.S. Census Bureau are scheduled to visit households that have not yet responded. But they won’t need to visit your home if you fill out your Census form now. So, go online to, call 844-330-2020, or mail back the form you got in your mailbox and help Census workers visit fewer households.

It only takes 10 minutes – you can do it online, from home today – and benefit our community for 10 years.

Make it Count Montana!

Learn more about the Census in Montana at CENSUS.MT.GOV.

- Concerned Citizen, Montana Town

Tips for Writing and Submitting Letters to the Editor

  • Keep it short – 200 words or less
  • Limit to one subject (the 2020 Census!)
  • Make it personal (Ex. Share your experience filling out your form or why the Census is important to your community)
  • Ask readers for an action (Fill out your 2020 Census!)
  • Include your name and town you’re from


Be Counted Sites Begin to Open

Great Falls Public Library Be Counted site

From public libraries, to health centers, to food banks, to non-profits and businesses throughout Montana, local partners are working hard to Make It Count for Montana. But COVID-19 has added additional challenges to ensuring every Montanan can respond to the 2020 Census. Last week the Lt. Governor, who is the chair of the Montana Complete Count Committee, visited the Great Falls Public Library, which is one of more than 150 Be Counted 2020 Census sites, to see how the library is working to make sure Montanans in the Great Falls community are counted while protecting against the spread of COVID-19.

“Be Counted" sites provide readily accessible locations for the public to respond to the 2020 Census. "Be Counted" sites give those without internet or phone access an opportunity to self-respond to the 2020 Census. “Be Counted" sites provide a way for Montanans to answer the 2020 Census using available computers or tablets with internet, making wi-fi available for a personal device, or making phones available for call-in responses to the Census.

You can find the Be Counted Location nearest your community HERE.

fill out your form today


Wyoming recently surpassed Montana’s self-response rate to the 2020 Census. Montana currently stands at 55.6 percent self-response, while Wyoming now has a 56 percent response rate. Montanans: We can’t let Wyoming beat us!

Spread the word on your social media to encourage your friends and family to respond to the 2020 Census if they haven’t already. Use #MakeItCount, #BeCounted, and how to respond ( or 844-330-2020. Spread the word that we won’t let Wyoming win!


Without an accurate Census count, Montana risks having other state’s get some of our fair share of funding. Missing only one resident means that a community misses up to $20,000 over the next decade. Overall, more than $2 billion from 300 federal programs is allocated back to Montana based on Census information. That includes more than $500,000 annually in funding for highways, water and wastewater, housing and other infrastructure programs.


Stand Up and Be Counted – FLATHEAD BEACON

Census Bureau still behind in counting rural areas – ROLL CALL

Census promoters have uphill climb in boosting Montana returns – MONTANA FREE PRESS



These events are current 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 – Oct. 31: Self-response Phase

April 2 – Sept. 3: Group Quarters Count (e-response and paper)

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

June 14 - July 29: Resume Update/Leave Operations nationwide

July 1 – Sept. 3: In-person Group Quarters Enumeration

Aug. 11 – Oct. 31: Non-response Follow-up

Sept. 3 – 28: Enumerate Transitory Locations such as RV parks, campgrounds, and hotels if people do not usually live elsewhere

Sept. 22 24: Operations to count those experiencing homeless outdoors and at service-based locations

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

July 31, 2021: Deliver redistricting data to states


       Montana Customized Census 2020 Resources 

       U.S. Census Bureau YouTube Channel

       U.S. Census Bureau Outreach Materials

       U.S. Census Bureau PSA Toolkit


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

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

Laurie Cipriano
Public Information Officer
Phone: (720) 891- 2497 (Colorado)