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 2020Census.gov 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: May 22, 2020

The 2020 Census "Self-Response Phase" has been extended out to October 31, 2020, which means that outreach efforts will continue through the coming months. The Chester County Complete County Committee (CCC) is adapting to these changes and will keep pursuing outreach through the summer. The Census Bureau has published a revised schedule for 2020.

Some key revised benchmarks are:

flyerTo 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.

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

We are also happy to report that Chester County continues to be a statewide leader in terms of residents who have already responded to the Census. As of May 19, 2020, the census response rate for Chester County is 71.8%. The total PA response rate is 62.7%, and the national average is 59.7%. 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 chescocensus@chesco.org.

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 chescocensus@chesco.org.

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 chescocensus@chesco.org.

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 chescocensus@chesco.org 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
Joy.Dvornicich@2020census.gov


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 ChescoCensus@chesco.org 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.