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When The Count Is Over But The Census Hasn’t Concluded

A man wearing a facemask walks past a sign encouraging people to complete the 2020 US Census, in Los Angeles, California, August 10, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A man wearing a facemask walks past a sign encouraging people to complete the 2020 US Census, in Los Angeles, California, August 10, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like most tasks this year, completing the 2020 census was complicated.

First, the Trump administration attempted to add a question concerning citizenship to the survey, a move that critics claimed would discourage undocumented people from participating and therefore would return inaccurate counts. Now, counting has concluded but the deadline to end the census is Dec. 31. Workers at the Census Bureau are concerned that they might not be able to complete an accurate count in time.

What work is left to complete on the 2020 census? And what challenges are workers facing to complete it?

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