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U.S. Census Bureau and Native American communities work together to ensure every person is counted


Last updated 10/15/2020 at 4:34pm

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Census Bureau is working with tribal leaders to encourage American Indian and Alaska Native communities to participate in the 2020 Census before time runs out. In the 2010 Census, the American Indians and Alaska Native population living on reservations was undercounted by 4.9% – one of the highest undercounts of any group.

To collect responses, census takers are making a final effort, visiting reservation areas where allowed and calling households to help individuals with responding to the 2020 Census. The deadline has been extended to Oct. 31.

As of Oct. 6, the total response rate in California is 99.9%. The U.S. total response rate is 99.7%.

Self-response rates by city:

Los Angeles – 58.1%

Fresno – 68.8%

Eureka – 68.9%

San Diego – 73.8%

Self-response rates by tribal area:

San Manuel Reservation – 34.4%

Rumsey Indian Rancheria – 25%

Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeno Indians – 5.6%

Mesa Grande Reservation – 62.5%

Pala Reservation – 30.6%

Barona Reservation – 44.3%

San Pasqual Reservation – 10.4%

Rincon Reservation – 30.7%

La Jolla Reservation – 11.3%

Viejas Reservation – 48.8%

Santa Ysabel Reservation – 13.7%

Campo Indian Reservation – 39.8%

Pauma and Yuima Reservation – 14.3%

Sycuan Reservation – 47.5%

The census bureau has been going to extraordinary lengths to reach AIAN communities leading up to and during the 2020 Census, including:

Collaborating with Tribal partners and leaders throughout the campaign, such as hiring 55 tribal partnership specialists who have engaged in nearly 3,000 events, holding a dozen focus groups with the AIAN community, holding 19 tribal consultations, and hosting a national webinar.

Launching multimedia advertisements campaign targeted to Alaska Native villages for the first time in census history in December 2019; and

Before entering tribal areas and communities, census takers complete training on social distancing and safety protocols. They follow public health guidelines and are required to wear a face mask when conducting home visits. They can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge.

However, the census bureau continues to encourage people to respond to the 2020 Census on their own to avoid a visit from a census taker.

Communities that are undercounted risk missing out on support for an array of critical programs and services, including job training, water pollution control, housing, health care and education.

You can respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone or by mail. For more information, visit or call 844-330-2020.


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