The 2020 Census deadline has been extended to October 31st, which is good news for American Indians and the Alaska Native population living on reservations, because once again, as in 2010, the count continues to be undereported.

The U.S. Census Bureau is encouraging tribal areas to respond now, as the Census deadline has been extended to the end of the month. In the 2010 Census, the American Indians and Alaska Native population living on reservations was undercounted by 4.9 percent – one of the highest undercounts of any group.

Below is a list of tribal communities and their self-response rates. Census takers are visiting reservations where they can and calling households to collect the remaining responses they need.

The U.S. Census Bureau is working with tribal leaders to encourage American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) communities to participate in the 2020 Census before time runs out. 

To collect responses, census takers are making a final effort, visiting reservation areas where allowed and calling households to help individuals with responding to the 2020 Census.

As of October 6, the total response rate in Washington is 99.9%. The U.S. total response rate is 99.7%.

Self-response rates by city:

  • Spokane – 75.7%
  • Yakima – 69.2%

Self-response rates by tribal area:

  • Yakima Nation Reservation – 54.7%
  • Colville Reservation – 37.6%
  • Spokane Reservation – 41.1%

The Census Bureau has been going to extraordinary lengths to reach AIAN communities leading up to and during the 2020 Census, including:

  • Collaborating with Tribal partners and leaders throughout the campaign, such as hiring 55 tribal partnership specialists who have engaged in nearly 3,000 events, holding a dozen focus groups with the AIAN community, holding 19 tribal consultations, and hosting a national webinar.
  • Launching multimedia advertisements campaign targeted to Alaska Native villages for the first time in census history in December 2019; and
  • Officially starting the 2020 Census in Toksook Bay, Alaska to ensure remote Alaskan communities were counted when it was safe for census takers to travel and visit door-to-door.

Before entering tribal areas and communities, census takers complete training on social distancing and safety protocols. They follow public health guidelines and are required to wear a face mask when conducting home visits.  They can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and an expiration date on the badge. However, the Census Bureau continues to encourage people to respond to the 2020 Census on their own to avoid a visit from a census taker.

Communities that are undercounted risk missing out on support for an array of critical programs and services, including job training, water pollution control, housing, health care, and education.

You can respond to the 2020 Census online, over the phone, or by mail.

For more information, please visit 2020census.gov or call 844-330-2020.