2020 Census in Pennsylvania


Census Operations and Programs


The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a variety of programs to ensure the most efficient and accurate census possible. They begin with Geographic Operations which ensure that their spatial data and records are accurate and up-to-date so that they can better inform ground operations. Then, during the enumeration effort count operations deal with hard-to-count or non-responsive populations to ensure a complete count. Finally, the Bureau reviews the data for accuracy and errors and allows local officials to validate or challenge the population count for their area. Below is a list of such programs.




Enumerate at Transitory Locations (ETL) Operations [March/April 2020]

Enumerates individuals in occupied units at transitory locations (TL) who do not have a Usual Home Elsewhere (UHE). TLs include recreational vehicle parks, campgrounds, racetracks, circuses, carnivals, marinas, hotels, and motels.

Group Quarters (GQ) Operations [Feb 2020]

Enumerates people living or staying in GQ, people experiencing homelessness, and people receiving service at service-based locations, people living on maritime vessels, and people living on military bases.

Census Day! [April 1 2020]

Nonresponse Followup (NRFU) [April/May 2020]

Determines the most cost-effective way of enumerating those households (personal visit, use of administrative records and third-party data, or proxy responses) that did not submit a self-response.

Federally Affiliated Count Overseas (FACO) Operations [July 2020]

Obtains counts by home state of U.S. military and federal civilian employees stationed or deployed overseas and their dependents living with them.



Geographic Programs (GEOP)

Provides the geographic foundation in support of the 2020 Census data collection through address data via the Master Address File (MAF) and spatial/boundary data via Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) system. The MAF/TIGER System serves as the national repository for all of the spatial, geographic, and residential address data needed for the census and survey data collection, data tabulation, data dissemination, geocoding services, and map production.

Redistricting Data Program (RDP) [Current - March 31, 2021]

Required by law, the program provides states the opportunity to specify the small geographic areas for which they wish to receive decennial population totals for the purpose of reapportionment and redistricting. The 2020 Census Redistricting Data Program provides states the opportunity to delineate voting districts and to suggest census block boundaries for use in the 2020 Census redistricting data tabulations.

Geographic Partnership Programs

Prior to the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau will conduct geographic partnership programs to make the address list as up-to-date as possible and ensure complete coverage of all housing units. The geographic partnership programs will also help define statistical geographic area boundaries that will provide meaningful data from the 2020 Census.

Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS)

An ongoing survey for collecting and maintaining information about the inventory of the legal boundaries for, and the legal actions affecting the boundaries of, counties and equivalent governments, incorporated places, Minor Civil Divisions, Consolidated Cities, Urban Growth Areas, etc.

Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP)

Programs that allow designated participants, following Census Bureau guidelines, to review and suggest modifications to the boundaries of block groups, census tracts, Census County Divisions, and Census Designated Places. Participants can also propose new Census Designated Places based on specific criteria.

Boundary Validation Program (BVP)

The intent of the BVP is to provide the Highest Elected Official a last opportunity to review the entity boundary, and any address range breaks where the boundary of their jurisdiction intersects a road, before the tabulation of census data.

Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)

State and local governments review and comment on the U.S. Census Bureau's residential address list for their jurisdiction prior to the 2020 Census. The Census Bureau relies on a complete and accurate address list to reach every living quarters and associated population for inclusion in the census.




Count Review Operation [Current - Aug 2021]

Provides members of Federal-State Cooperative Population Estimates (FCSPE) the opportunity to review the counts to ensure the accuracy of the 2020 Census.

Count Question Resolution (CQR) [Mar 2021 - Sep 2023]

State and local officials may challenge their jurisdiction’s 2020 Census counts if they feel that the count is incorrect.


Pennsylvania State Data Center
777 West Harrisburg Pike
Middletown, PA, 17057