The 2020 Decennial Census for Chester County

Updated November 3, 2021

Every ten years the federal government conducts a "decennial" census in which each person in America is counted or "enumerated." On September 16, 2021, the U. S. Census Bureau released local level data from the 2020 Census, as detailed at the Census Bureau's website. The Census Bureau posted this data at

Planning commission staff extracted the 2020 Census Data relating to Chester County's 73 municipalities and formatted it in an easy-to-use Excel format. These data provide municipal-level data addressing total population, age, housing units, population density, group quarters (such as nursing facilities and university dorms), race, and Hispanic or Latino populations. A downloadable file of all this data is available in an Excel spreadsheet.

The Census Bureau has also created a web page entitled Infographics and Visualizations which includes maps and charts illustrating the 2020 census results. One of these maps is the 2020 Census Demographic Data Map Viewer, which provides selected data about counties and census block groups nationwide. Another useful map provides 2020 State and County population and housing data.

View additional Census information.

Census Outreach Update: April 27, 2021

On Monday, April 26, 2021, the US Census Bureau announced the initial results from the 2020 decennial census. These results only include data for entire states, not counties or smaller jurisdictions. View the official census press release.

The 2020 Census determined that the resident population of people living in the 50 states and the District of Columbia on April 1, 2020, was 331,449,281. The resident population increased by 22,703,743 (7.4%) from the 2010 census total which was 308,745,538. The 2020 resident population for Pennsylvania was 13,002,700. Pennsylvania’s population increased by 300,321 (2.4%) from the 2010 census total which was 12,702,379. Despite this modest gain, Pennsylvania will lose one congressional seat.

Detailed Census information will be released in September 2021.

Census Outreach Update: February 12, 2021

On February 12, 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that, due to COVID-19 delays, it will deliver the 2020 Census redistricting data to all 50 states on September 30, 2021. This data is formally known as “Public Law 94-171” data. The Census Bureau had originally planned to gradually deliver the redistricting data to the states by March 31, 2021. The redistricting data includes counts of population by race, ethnicity (Hispanic or Latino origin), voting age, housing occupancy status, and group quarters population, all at the census block level. This is the information that states need to redraw or “redistrict” their legislative boundaries. Learn more Census Bureau Statement on Redistricting Data Timeline.

Explanatory comments on this new schedule written by James Whitehorne of the Census Bureau Redistricting and Voting Rights Data Office can be found here: Timeline for Releasing Redistricting Data.

Census Outreach Update: February 4, 2021

The US Census Bureau recently announced an update to the schedule for the release of Census 2020 data. Due to COVID and administrative delays, the apportionment counts for the 2020 Census will be released on April 30, 2021. That is when the counts are to be disseminated to the public through a press release on the Internet. Learn more Census Bureau Statement on Apportionment Counts.

Apportionment is the process of determining the number of representatives to which each state is entitled in the U.S. House of Representatives based on the decennial census. It should not be confused with redistricting, which is the process of revising the geographic boundaries of areas from which people elect representatives to the U.S. House of Representatives, a state legislature, a city council, a school board, etc. Learn more here United States Census Bureau FAQ page.

Census Outreach Update: November 2, 2020

The U. S. Census is now tabulating and verifying the final results of the 2020 Census. By December 31, 2020, the Census Bureau expects to deliver apportionment counts to the President as required by law. This information is used to redraw legislative districts based on population changes.

Although March 31, 2021 is the statutory date by which the redistricting counts were to be released to the states, COVID-related delays have caused the release to be tentatively rescheduled to July 31, 2021. This would effectively be the date when the information will be released to the public. More information on this still developing story is available from the Statement on 2020 Census Operational Adjustments (April 13, 2020) and the 2020 Census Operational Press Briefing (October 21, 2020).

Census Outreach Update: October 14, 2020

As of today, well over 99.9% of housing units (nationally) have been accounted for in the 2020 Census. Self-response and field data collection operations for the 2020 Census will conclude on October 15, 2020.

Census Outreach Update: October 7, 2020

In recent weeks there have been changes to the schedule of Census 2020 outreach efforts. The October schedule has now been fully resolved due to a court ruling, and the last day of field operations will be October 31, 2020. View the Census Bureau press release.

From now until October 31st, Chester County residents can be counted in the 2020 Census in three ways:

Census Outreach Update: August 4, 2020

Statement from U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham: Delivering a Complete and Accurate 2020 Census Count

The U.S. Census Bureau has updated their plan and will now end field data collection by September 30, 2020. Self-response options will also close on that date to permit the commencement of data processing. This statement was announced yesterday, Aug 3, 2020. See the press release here.

To publicize this schedule change, the Planning Commission created a flyer addressing how the Census Bureau will conduct operations over the summer in keeping with COVID-19 safety guidelines. The flyer is also available in Spanish.

From now until September, Chester County residents can be counted in the 2020 Census in three ways:

Census Outreach Update: July 17, 2020

Did you know that each person counted in the 2020 Census – including newborns and children - brings in just over $2,000 to the community, every year, for ten years? Now more than ever, a total count of our county’s population is crucial. While Chester County’s overall response rate is good, there are still some areas with lower response rates. If you have already completed the census, help encourage others to do the same! If you have not completed the census, please go to and do so as soon as possible.

The Chester County Commissioners, Marian Moskowitz, Josh Maxwell, and Michelle Kichline, have prepared videos referencing some of the areas with lower response rates across the region. View the videos.

Census Outreach Update: April 23, 2020

Despite the limitations of working from home, members of the Chester County Complete Count Committee are continuing to promote the 2020 Census. Because the 2020 Census "Self-Response Phase" has been extended out from mid-August to October 31, 2020, outreach efforts will continue through the summer months.

The Planning Commission recently received municipal input noting a concern that Chester County residents who use a P.O. Box had not received 2020 Census mailings from the Census Bureau. After coordinating with Census Bureau staff, we were informed that the Census Bureau is not permitted to mail out notices to P. O. Boxes, only to mailing addresses that have a house or apartment number.

Furthermore, the Census Bureau is currently sending out paper 2020 Census forms to those households that have not yet filled out the census online. However, the paper forms cannot be sent to any P.O. Boxes. Also, it is not permitted for paper census forms to be distributed in bulk, for example, at municipal buildings, churches, or community gathering points.

Fortunately, there are three ways for anyone else who uses a P.O. Box to be counted in the 2020 Census:

We have created a flyer clarifying the P. O. Box issue, which we have distributed to each municipality and can be downloaded.

We are happy to report that Chester County continues to lead the state in terms of residents who have already responded to the Census. As of April 22, 2020, the Chester County response Rate was 62.5%, while the national response rate was 51.8%, and the Pennsylvania response rate was 52.9%. View census response rate updates.

Planning Commission staff continue to work remotely. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 610-344-6285 or

Census Outreach Update: April 1, 2020

April 1, 2020 was Census Day 2020. Everyone who fills out a census form must report where they were living on Census Day. Children born on April 1, 2020 will be counted in the 2020 Census, while those born on April 2 will not.  However, throughout April the Complete Count Committee will continue to promote the census.

In mid-March, Chester County residents began to receive letters from the U. S. Census Bureau requesting that they respond to the census, preferably online. As of March 29, 2020, the Chester County response Rate was 42.6%, while the national response rate was 34.7%, and the Pennsylvania response rate was 36.0%. View census response rate updates.

No one can predict what the effect of the COVID epidemic will have on census response rates. However, due to the closure of workplaces, the U. S. Census Bureau has revised is overall schedule for gathering and processing census data. We strongly encourage everyone involved with promoting the 2020 Census to review the detailed schedule update.

Key updates to the schedule are:

Planning Commission staff will continue to work remotely as long as county facilities remain partially closed, but we are receiving and responding to emails and phone messages. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at 610-344-6285 or

Census Outreach Update: March 25, 2020

Although there has been a reduction in Census outreach activities due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Complete County Committee and its members are still moving forward. Below are some updates:

The US Census Bureau is reporting that as of March 22, 2020, the nation-wide census response rate was 21.0%, Pennsylvania's response rate was 21.0%, and Chester County's response rate was 24.8%. You can check the response rate for Chester County, and all other counties in the United States by visiting the Census 2020 Response Rates webpage.

Amanda Blevins of La Comunidad Hispana (LCH) has forwarded to us a set of English and Spanish brochures that LCH is distributing to their clients. LHC has graciously permitted us to post these brochures so that anyone who wishes to print and distribute them can do so:

The census is now operating a service in which residents can fill out the Census 2020 form over the phone in English, Spanish, and a number of other languages. To use this service, residents should call the toll-free census help line at 1-844-330-2020 (or 1-844-468-2020 in Spanish). Phone lines are open every day from 7 AM to 2AM Eastern Time. However, due to quarantine-related census staff reductions, the wait times for these calls can be long, especially during mid-day.

Many Chester County residents have received two letters from the Census. We have found that these duplicates usually occur when there are two variations of a single address such as "500 Main Street Apt. 2" and "500 Main Street, Unit 2". Residents should fill out whichever form they prefer, but should only fill out one of them.

Until further notice, the Planning Commission office will be closed and we will not be able to deliver brochures or posters.

2020 Census Video Announcment

The 2020 Census is arriving soon! This video, featuring Brian O'Leary, Executive Director of the Chester County Planning Commission, and Peter Urscheler, Mayor of Phoenixville, highlights a few key aspects of the upcoming census including its importance, ease of use, and confidentiality.

How your organization can become a Census Champion

The Chester County Census 2020 Complete Count Committee (CCC) is seeking out organizations that wish to promote the 2020 Census by becoming a "Census Champion." A Census Champion is a civic group, business, government entity, social service organization, educational facility, or other organization that agrees to promote the 2020 Census to the individuals with whom they interact. The primary goal of a Census Champion is to conduct outreach to "hard to count" communities which are more likely to be undercounted during the 2020 Census. Some organizations that have already become Census Champions are: The United Way of Chester County; The Phoenixville Senior Center; and the Maternal and Child Health Consortium of Chester County.

If you have any questions or would like for your organization to become a Census Champion, contact the Chester County Planning Commission at or 610-344-6285. We are especially interested in organizations that interact with the following communities or groups: seniors, farm workers, foreign language speakers, immigrant communities, minority communities, and college students. The Census Champion initiative is a voluntary program, but county staff can provide you with flyers, posters, and general guidance. You can download a brochure entitled "How to become a Census Champion". If your organization's board requires a formal agreement to participate, you can download a Census Champion Memorandum of Understanding.

Outreach materials you can download and distribute today!

brochureThe CCC has created a series of outreach publications in English and Spanish that you can download and distribute to the community you serve. These materials can be distributed at any location where hard-to-count populations may be found such as: adult literacy classes, food pantries, houses of worship, ESL classes, immigrant groups, and grocery stores catering to immigrant communities.

We have created a one-page brochure to explain the 2020 Census to hard-to-count communities. English | Spanish | Spanish Vernacular

Downloadable Poster to Promote the Census

We have also created seven posters that can be displayed in places like libraries, hospital waiting rooms, or even in the break rooms or cafeterias of work places. These posters, which can be downloaded below, are available in both English and Spanish. They can be printed on either 8½" x 11" or 11" x 17" sheets:

Promote the 2020 Census through social media, webpages, or email newsletters

The CCC has created a series of prepared social media "soundbites" you can download and edit to best get the message out to your target audience. The documents are:

If you would like to speak with federal staff from the 2020 Census, or would like for a census staff member to speak with your organization, please contact:

Joy Dvornicich, Partnership Specialist — Chester County
Philadelphia Regional Census Center
U.S. Census Bureau
Phone: 610-888-7594

The 2020 Census is easy, confidential and important

In March and April of 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau will be conducting the 2020 Census, as is required by Article 1,Section 2 of the United States Constitution which mandates a count of all the people living in the United States every ten years. Because the 2020 Census affects the future distribution of state and federal funding to Chester County's governments and social service organizations, the Chester County Commissioners have established a Complete Count Committee to help ensure that all residents in Chester County are counted. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the Complete Count Committee for Chester County, and the 2020 Census in general.

What is the Chester County Complete Count Committee (CCC)?

When will the Census forms be mailed?

Why is the 2020 Census important to my community?

Is filling out the 2020 Census difficult?

Is my information confidential?

Will a Census taker visit my home?

Can I fill out the Census online or over the phone?

Will the Census send me an email?

What is the Chester County Complete Count Committee (CCC)?

In the summer of 2019, the Chester County Commissioners established the Chester County CCC, which consists of a variety of community leaders from education, business, healthcare, and other public and private organizations. These trusted voices are working with County government to develop and implement a 2020 Census awareness campaign based upon their knowledge of the local community. The focus of the CCC is to conduct public outreach to "hard-to-count" residents of Chester County who may include temporary residents, like college students or farm workers, and other people like the seniors or recent immigrants who are less likely to fill out forms due to a lack of familiarity.

The Chester County CCC will be actively working from the fall of 2019 to the spring of 2020 to ensure that everyone in Chester County is counted. For more information on the committee, contact us at or 610-344-6285.

Learn more about Complete Count Committees.

View the U.S. Census guidebook for Complete County Committees.

When will the Census forms be mailed?

The 2020 Census will be mailing out materials to Chester County residents mostly during March and April of 2020.

March 12 to 20: Each residential address, including rental apartments, will be mailed a census invitation card, and instructions for the on-line submission. It will also explain how to fill out the form over the phone, or by using a paper form.

March 16 to 24: A reminder post card will be sent to each residential address.

March 26 to April 3: If you have not yet submitted your Census information, a reminder postcard will be sent to you.

April 8 to 16: If you have not yet submitted your Census information, a reminder letter and a paper questionnaire will be set to you.

April 20-27: If you have not yet submitted your Census information, you will be sent a final reminder and a notification that you may be visited by a Census taker.

2020 Census Operational Timeline

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Why is the 2020 Census important to my community?

Is filling out the 2020 Census difficult?

Filling out the 2020 Census is easy and consists of nine questions.

Households will be able to respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or through a paper questionnaire. The sample paper questionnaire below does not include some features that will be made available to households starting in March 2020, such as the URL for online response and the contact information for phone response.

Is my information confidential?

Any information you provide to the Census, either online or in paper form will remain confidential. Federal law required that Census data only be used for statistical purposes. For more information, view the 2020 Census and Confidentiality brochure.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Will a Census taker visit my home?

If you fill out the Census form online, or mail in a completed paper form, no Census staff will come to your home. If a Census taker does visit your address, he or she will show you identficiation, and will not step inside your home.

Can I fill out the Census online or over the phone?

Yes. In March of 2020, each mailing address in the County will be mailed a postcard with directions on how to fill out the Census online, or over the phone.

Will the Census send me an email?

No. The Census will contact you by mail or by phone.