2020 Census in Virginia

census tracts with a response rate less than 73 percent to 2010 questionaires may be the hard-to-count census tracts in 2020
census tracts with a response rate less than 73 percent to 2010 questionaires may be the hard-to-count census tracts in 2020
Source: Census Bureau, Mapping Hard to Count (HTC) Communities for a Fair and Accurate 2020 Census

The Census Bureau has created 1,906 "census tracts" in Virginia within the 38 cities and 95 counties. Census tracts are designed to include about 4,000 people, with boundaries based primarily on permanent visible features so changes can be tracked over time. Census tracts do not cross county and state boundaries in order to count people within individual jurisdictions, so the edges of a tract are not always obvious.

Within a census tract are smaller units called "blocks," which may be assigned to an enumerator. A collection of blocks forms a "block group," a collection of block groups forms a census tract, and each of the 133 political jurisdictions in Virginia may include one or more census tracts.1

To prepare for the 2020 Census, the Center for Urban Research in New York identified the census tracts with a low (less than 74%) response rate to the first questionnaire mailed to each house in 2010. Additional outreach efforts can be targeted to those tracts, to enhance getting a complete count in 2020. The Secretary of the Commonwealth estimated in 2019 that 45,000 people, roughly 0.5% of the Virginia residents on April 1, 2010, were not counted in the 2010 Census. The undercounts, which varied by state, affected the distribution of Federal grants between the states for the last decade.2

The total of those grants reached $675 billion dollars by 2018, so state officials sought to increase response rates for the 2020 Census. Governor Northan created a 40-member Virginia Complete Count Commission, in hopes that the "local knowledge, expertise, and influence" of its members would improve outreach and ultimately lead to a higher response rate.3



1. "United States Census Information @ Pitt: Understanding Census Geography," University of Pittsburgh, https://pitt.libguides.com/uscensus/understandinggeography (last checked May 24, 2019)
2. "Internet access and hard-to-find addresses could affect Virginia census count, analysis says," Virginia Mercury, May 23, 2019, https://www.virginiamercury.com/blog-va/internet-access-and-hard-to-find-addresses-could-affect-virginia-census-count-analysis-says/; (last checked May 24, 2019)
3. "Establishing the Virginia Complete Count Commission," Executive Order 27, Governor of Virginia, December 18, 2018, https://www.governor.virginia.gov/media/governorvirginiagov/executive-actions/EO-27-Establishing-The-Virginia-Complete-Count-Commission.pdf; "Without outreach funding, it will be harder to count Virginia’s children, immigrants and senior citizens in 2020," Virginia Mercury, April 11, 2019, https://www.virginiamercury.com/2019/04/11/without-outreach-funding-it-will-be-harder-to-count-virginias-children-immigrants-and-senior-citizens-in-2020/ (last checked May 24, 2019)

Population in Virginia
Virginia Places