Publish date:

Gov. Walz urges Census Bureau to extend deadline to Oct. 31

Currently, the Census Bureau will end its field operations to count everyone in the U.S. at the end of September.

Gov. Tim Walz wants the U.S. Census Bureau to reconsider its decision to pull census takers from the field at the end of the month. 

The governor wrote a letter to the Census Bureau this week, asking that it continue its data collection in the field until Oct. 31, like it had planned to do in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of ending it on Sept. 30, as it announced it would in early August

“By your own calculations made when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Oct. 31 date is crucial for the Census Bureau to be able to meet its constitutional obligation and do so in a way that does not jeopardize the public health,” Walz wrote in the letter. “As our state works to recover and rebuild in the eventual wake of the pandemic and the economic crisis it has spawned, having a complete and accurate count of all those living in Minnesota is critical to properly directing the resources we need to return to prosperity.”

Getting a complete count of everyone who lives in Minnesota is important, especially this year when Minnesota could lose one of its congressional seats to a state with a growing population. Not getting a complete count of people living in Minnesota could also reduce how much federal funding the state gets.

Census takers have been in Minnesota following up with households who have yet to fill out their census, but field operations, where they go door-to-door to make sure everyone is counted, will end Sept. 30, which is a month earlier than what the Census Bureau had said earlier this year

"Your recent announcement calls into question how millions of Americans who have yet to fill out their 2020 Census will be counted. It is surprising to hear how optimistic the Census Bureau is about being able to reach 100% in less than three weeks, given that as of the writing of this letter, non-response follow-up (NRFU) completion rate of only 75% in the Duluth Area Census Office and troubling rate of only 7% self-response rate on Red Lake Reservation," Walz wrote. 

As of Sept. 15, the Census Bureau said more than 92% of housing units have been accounted for in the 2020 Census – 26.6% were counted by census takers and other field data collection operations, and 65.9% of housing units responding online, by phone or by mail.

Minnesota has a history of being No. 1 in the U.S. in the self-response phase of the census, but it was in 12th place in total response as of Aug. 31, officials said at the time

According to Census Bureau data that's updated weekly, census workers have completed 84.8% of their nonresponse follow-up operation in the northern two-thirds of the state (the Duluth Area Census Office), 93.7% of their follow-up work in the Twin Cities metro (the Minneapolis Area Census Office), and 83.8% of their work in the southern third of the state (the Rochester Area Census Office).

“In Minnesota, we know that everyone counts and everyone matters – which is why we often lead the nation in Census response rates every decade,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in a statement. “But we’re not at 100% yet. Ending the 2020 Census response period early puts us at risk of an undercount, especially of Black communities, Native American communities, and communities of color, immigrants and refugees, renters, and children under five. At a time when resources and representation are critically important, we can’t afford to miss anyone. We need to tell the full story of Minnesota.”

If you haven't filled out your census, you can do so by visiting or calling 1-844-330-2020. You can also text questions to 662020. Hennepin County's census website has other resources.

Next Up

Knuth - Nezhad - side by side

Frey challengers Knuth, Nezhad agree to rank each other 2nd

They're urging supporters to do the same on Nov. 2.

Jerome Horton - Sherburne Co. Jail - CROP

Charges: Man lied to buy gun later used by St. Paul mass shooting suspect

He's accused of making false statements during the purchase of a firearm.

Screen Shot 2021-06-04 at 6.30.24 AM

BCA releases investigative file in Winston Smith's shooting death

The file contains 1,000 pages of documents, hundreds of photos and dozens of audio files.


Fire at Mpls. pizza joint weeks after opening, owners suspect arson

The owners arrived at work Tuesday to find the building on fire.

vaccine, covid

New COVID charts show hospitalization, death rates based on vaccine status

The unvaccinated are far more likely than the fully vaccinated to become hospitalized or die.

Flickr - Superior National Forest Boundary Waters

White House begins process to ban new mining near BWCAW

The stated goal is to protect the "unique natural wonder" of the BWCAW.

Autumn Merrick, Autumn Rose Merrick

Man charged in shootout, crash that killed 18-year-old on scooter

Autumn Rose Merrick was with a friend near the Holiday gas station.

D Quagon - DOC photo

DOC searching for convicted sex offender who has gone on the run

The recently released man removed his GPS monitoring device.


Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz convenes special session to extend emergency powers

The Minnesota Legislature will convene for its fourth special session on Sept. 11.

Governor Tim Walz

Gov. Walz offers pathway to 'wind-down' his emergency powers

"I recognize our shared interest in finding a pathway ... to ensure an orderly end of the peacetime emergency when it is no longer needed," Walz writes.

Bde Maka Ska, Minneapolis skyline

Minnesota leads the country in Census 2020 response rate

Minnesota has a lot on the line ahead of the decennial count.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Gov. Walz will provide COVID-19 update at Monday press conference

He'll talk about the state's response to the pandemic.