Forth Worth, Dallas, Denton & Plano Resource Centers on Independent Living

Census Bureau count of people living in unconventional places now underway

Posted Sept. 11, 2020

With or without a mailbox, everyone will be counted in the 2020 Census.

People from every generation live in unconventional ways and locations.

Some reside at horseracing stables or travel with circuses and carnivals. Others seek more affordable housing in RV parks.

Or, others live on boats, docking at marinas most of the time or between sailing trips.

Historically, counting these people in a census has been a challenge, but the Census Bureau is determined to include them in the 2020 Census. Enumeration of transitory locations operations runs through Sept. 28. Many individuals may be temporarily displaced due to COVID-19. People should count themselves at their usual residence, even if they were temporarily staying elsewhere on April 1, 2020.

This population includes people who live in transitory or temporary locations and typically pay a fee to do so. If they have a more permanent home elsewhere, the Census Bureau considers the place they spend most of their time their address.

For census purposes, enumeration of the transitory population does not include people who are experiencing homelessness and live in makeshift tents or RV encampments where they do not pay to stay.

This population is counted in a separate “group quarters” operation called Service-Based Enumeration. If a hotel is only used to shelter people who are experiencing homelessness, it will then fall under the definition of “group quarters.”

It is important for everyone including those living in transitory locations to respond to the 2020 Census. Statistics on the U.S. population help state, local and federal officials decide how to spend billions of dollars annually in federal funds for critical public services, such as hospitals and clinics, emergency response, schools, roads and bridges.