The US Census Bureau will wrap up its efforts to collect counting information a month earlier than planned, setting Sept. 30 as the day it’ll end options that let people submit their details online, in the mail and over the phone, as well as halting its door-knocking efforts to get data in person.
The bureau director said in a statement late Monday that the earlier timing was necessary to finish all the data processing for the count, which is a constitutionally required survey of every person living in the US, in order to meet its Dec. 31 deadline to finish. Last month, census takers began in-person interviews for households that haven’t responded. Though the bureau originally planned for response collection to end July 31, the date was pushed until Oct. 31 because of the.
The coronavirus outbreak has complicated the 2020 Census, with the latest unexpected changes possibly risking accuracy in counting people who are hardest to reach. This year’s count is also unique from those in the past because it’s the first time census takers will use iPhones to conduct interviews and enter census information.
As of the middle of July, the bureau said its national response rate for the count was about 62%.