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2020 Island Areas Censuses Frequently Asked Questions

1. How is the decennial census conducted for the Island Areas?

The Census Bureau conducts the decennial census operations in partnership with the governments of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands to comply with the legal requirements set forth in Title 13 of the United States Code and to meet the specific data needs of the Island Areas. In the Island Areas, data are collected once each decade during the decennial census. Responses are typically collected in person, but in 2020, responses were also collected over the telephone during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Census Bureau uses a “long-form” census to meet the Island Areas’ data needs for detailed social, housing, and economic information since other surveys, like the American Community Survey, are not conducted in the Island Areas. The long-form census questionnaire is similar to the American Community Survey questionnaire used in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

2. Are Island Areas population counts included in apportionment data?

No, the Island Areas population counts are not included in the congressional apportionment data, but they are important for other uses including federal funding decisions.

3. When will additional data products be released from the 2020 Island Areas Censuses?

Information about the release schedule for the 2020 Island Areas Censuses data products is available on the 2020 Island Areas Censuses Data Products webpage.

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