Press Release: California Surpasses 2010 Census Self-response Rate in 2020 Count

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, September 5, 2020
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California Surpasses 2010 Census Self-response Rate in 2020 Count

With the September 30 deadline for responses approaching, more than 10 million households statewide have responded

SACRAMENTO – The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office announced today that California has surpassed its 2010 Census self-response rate, with 68.3% of households taking the 2020 Census online, by phone or mail. With just 25 days remaining before the September 30 deadline, it is critical for those Californians who have yet to fill out the form to complete the confidential, nine-question survey now, and help achieve a complete count.

Between late July and late August 2020, the gap between California’s SRR and the national SRR almost doubled, from 1.3% to 2.3%.  Traditionally, California has served as a leading indicator for the decennial Census. California drives national averages given California is the most populous state in the country. Nationwide, the average response rate is 65.3%. The final national self-response rate in 2010 was 66.5 percent.

“It is through the collective efforts of millions of Californians that we have surpassed our 2010 self-response rate. But make no mistake – we are not done yet. With 25 days left, our message is loud and clear: Californians need to act now and fill out their Census forms. We have just days to secure funding and representation in our state for the next decade. We are so proud of this milestone and all those who have stood up to be counted for their families and their communities. It is not too late- we encourage everyone to complete their Census form today,” said Ditas Katague, Director of the California Complete Count – Census 2020.

California is the hardest-to-count state in the nation, with a large, diverse population, and a high number of people considered traditionally hard-to-count, including recent immigrants, people who lack high-speed Internet access, and people with limited English proficiency.

Across California, communities traditionally considered “hard-to-count” have responded to the 2020 Census in greater numbers than in 2010. In Amador County, response rates are 10 points above 2010 levels. In Tuolumne County, response rates are more than 5 points above 2010 rates. And in San Diego County, response rates are 4 points higher than a decade ago.

Earlier this month, the campaign announced it is expanding outreach to further support a complete and accurate count as the September 30 deadline for responses approaches. In particular, the campaign is conducting focused outreach in more than 2,000 Census tracts with low self-response rates. These efforts include a new phone banking initiative which aims to reach 1.1 million households in more than 1,100 tracts.

In August, California marked another important milestone – with 2 million of the hardest-to-count California households responding to the 2020 Census, achieving the participation goal set by the campaign[1]. Today, more than 10 million of the hardest-to-count households have participated. Since the Census began in mid-March 2020, California’s Census campaign has been focused on executing an integrated, hyper-targeted outreach and communication effort designed to reach California’s estimated 4 million households in the hardest-to-count areas.

The campaign continues to remind all Californians that they can respond to the Census online at, by phone by calling the number available below, or by mail if they received a paper form. The Census is confidential and secure. Information is not shared with any other government agency. Most importantly- the Census is a count of everyone living in the country today, regardless of their immigration status.  There is no citizenship question and every single Californian has a right to be counted.

For more information about the U.S. Census Bureau’s NRFU operation, including how to identify an official Census taker, please click here.


The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office
Once each decade, the U.S. Census Bureau attempts to count every person in the United States. California leaders have invested $187.2 million toward a statewide outreach and communication campaign. For more information, please go to

DATA: To see data on the hard-to-count populations in cities, counties, congressional and legislative districts in California, please visit: 



[1]   The U.S. Census Bureau releases Census 2020 percentage self-response rates by census tract. This information does not include the actual number of households that have self-responded. The California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office uses the following two data sources to calculate estimates of how many households have self-responded to the Census.

  • Census Bureau 2014-2018 American Community Survey 5-year estimates, table B25002: Estimated occupied housing units by census tract.
  • Census Bureau address counts: The aggregated number of addresses in the bureau’s Master Address File following the 2018 Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA).


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