U.S. Census Bureau

The Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission discusses 2020 Census return rates on June 10.
Montana Public Affairs Network


Montana has the seventh lowest 2020 Census return rate among all states after one fifth of its households weren’t initially mailed invitations to participate. Counting has been especially difficult in rural reaches of the Treasure State.

A map showing the self response rates from households to the 2020 Census by phone, mail or online.
U.S. Census Bureau

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Just over half of Montana households have responded to the 2020 U.S. Census, according to the state Department of Commerce. The state still trails the national response rate.

The U.S. Census Bureau says that area offices in 13 states will reopen for limited field operations this week, including one in Billings. MTPR reports Montana is one of a few states where the Census count has experienced severe setbacks in light of the pandemic.

This map features self-response rates from households that responded to the 2020 Census online, by mail or by phone as of Apr. 2, 2020.
United States 2020 Census / U.S. Census Bureau

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is asking the U.S. Census Bureau to extend the self-response deadline for the decennial headcount.

Bullock wants the deadline pushed back from mid-Aug. to Sep. 30.

Montanas are being asked to report Census data online or by phone even without receiving a specialized ID code to begin the process.

A press release from the Montana Dept of Commerce on Monday says the state’s response remains critical as Census field operations across the U.S. are being suspended due to COVID-19.

Imitation 2020 census paperwork sent through the mail.
Montana Department of Commerce / Montana Department of Commerce

Montana Department of Commerce officials say the Republican National Committee sent imitation census paperwork to residents in Cascade County. Similar look-alike mailings appeared in Montana last fall.

U.S. Census hiring week kicked off Monday. Across the country that means the launch of targeted television ads and posters aimed at getting people to apply for the half a million temporary jobs the Census Bureau needs to fill before next spring.

U.S. Census Bureau Regional Director Cathy Lacy speaks at a podium
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

The United States Census Bureau is taking account of buildings in Montana. It’s part of the preparation to collect census data next year.

U.S. Census officials speaking in Missoula Monday avoided commenting on whether a citizenship question will be added to the 2020 Census and what it could mean for Montana. It comes at a time when the Trump administration is assembling a legal team determined to ask the country about its citizenship status.

U.S. Census Bureau Regional Director Cathy Lacy speaks at a podium
Nicky Ouellet / Yellowstone Public Radio

Billings became one of the first cities in the West to open a US Census Office Tuesday.