Every ten years, the Federal Government tackles a monumental challenge: the U.S. Census. Dating back to 1790, the Census’ goal is to count the entire population to help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding will flow into states and communities. This includes, but is not limited to, the forecasting and planning for schools, hospitals, roads, emergency services.
Ten years ago, while a digital campaign that leaned into advertising kicked off, the majority of responses were still collected by mail. To make up for the 26% of the population who did not respond, 634,000 census takers then walked door to door to count households that failed to respond, a massive operation that took excess manpower and money.
In trying to reduce barriers to participation, the U.S. Census has spent the past decade modernizing its’ operation. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. and like many organizations, the Census Bureau had to adapt.