Challenging Census Results

The Census Bureau created a program after the 1990 census for states and local governments to challenge census results after detailed data is delivered. This program is called the Count Question Resolution (CQR). The guidelines on what can be challenged are very narrow in scope and are generally revised after each decennial census. The Census Bureau released the Federal Register Notice on October 29, 2021 and will notify counties in December about the CQR program and how to participate.

The CQR program has previously allowed states and local governments to submit a request to review official census counts of population and housing, and to correct boundary, geocoding, and certain coverage or processing issues. While successful challenges can result in increased federal funding distributions and improved data for policy decision making, it cannot be used for redistricting purposes. 

The timetable to challenge census results will begin on January 3, 2022 and close June 30, 2023.

The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has a detailed explanation of the program, what can be challenged, and the challenge process. This information can be accessed at Challenges to Census Data (  The Census Bureau released a detailed operational plan for CQR  which can be viewed at 2020 Census Detailed Operational Plan for: 24. Count Question Resolution Operation (CQR)

Census Bureau Proposed Schedule for 2020 CQR Program:

  • Fall 2021: Federal Register notice announces the beginning of a 30-day comment period for the public.
  • December 2021: The Census Bureau plans to officially notify tribal, state and local government officials eligible to file CQR cases.
  • January 2022: The Census Bureau begins accepting CQR cases for processing from eligible tribal, state and local governments.
  • June 30, 2023: Deadline for governments to send CQR cases to the Census Bureau.
  • September 30, 2023: Deadline for the Census Bureau to provide results to impacted governmental units.

ACCG Redistricting Tools

ACCG has provided the following redistricting information for counties. The Toolkit provides resources, contact information, reference materials, sample documents, checklists, maps, and data that may be useful to counties during the redistricting process. On July 21, 2021. Gina Wright, the Executive Director for the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office, who presented information on the local redistricting process and the steps and decisions counties will need to make to begin work on redistricting.

ACCG Local Redistricting Toolkit

Webinar Materials

2020 Redistricting Data Released by Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office

The Georgia Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office will be periodically posting new redistricting information on their website at that will be of interest to counties. The following files have been posted that were derived from the 2020 Census Redistricting results released in August 2021.

2020 Census Count by Georgia County Name

2020 Census Count by Georgia County Population

2020 Census Count- Cities in Multiple Counties

2020 Redistricting Data Released by Census Bureau 

The US Census Bureau (Census Bureau) has released the Legacy and Summary Redistricting files on their website.  The information contacted in each file format is the same, however, the Summary Redistricting files are provided in an easier-to-use format. Topics in both formats include 2020 Census population counts by race, Hispanic origin, voting age and housing unit data for counties, places, census tracts and blocks. Tables and maps are available at Census - Search Results.

The Census Bureau also has in-depth instructional videos, tutorials, and other resources located at resources page and via the Census Academy, their virtual hub for learning data skills. Examples of resources provided are listed below:

Census Bureau Resources on 2020 Redistricting Data:

Georgia 2020 Redistricting Legacy Files

How to Import Legacy Files and Extract Data

Decennial Census P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data

2020 Census: Percent Change in County Population: 2010 to 2020

2020 Census Results on Race and Ethnicity

Population Distribution and Change: 2010-2020

Data Visualization Maps: 2010-2020

2020 Census Redistricting Release Press Kit


2020 Apportionment Data Has Been Released

The Census Bureau held a press conference on April 26, 2021 to formally present the 2020 Census apportionment counts. Apportionment counts are used to determine how many congressional seats each state receives. As part of this release, the Census Bureau also provided the state population counts. Information about apportionment data as well as the video of the Census Bureau press conference is available at 2020 Census Apportionment Counts Press Kit. The apportionment and state population tables are located at 2020 Census Apportionment Results. Population and apportionment maps which show growth by the US, region, and state from 1910-2020 are available here.

The new official US population per the 2020 Census is 331, 449, 281. The official Georgia population is 10,711,908. Georgia had a 10.6% increase in population from 2010. The US population has increased by 7.4% since 2010 with the south having the fastest growth of any other region at 10.2%. Overall, the US has experienced the slowest growth rate in this past decade since the 1940 Census.

In terms of changes in congressional seats, this is the smallest change since 1941. There was a shift of 7 seats that impacted 13 states. Georgia did not lose or gain a seat. For southern states, Texas, Florida, and North Carolina gained seats while West Virginia lost a seat. One congressional seat now represents 761,169 people, which is an increase of approximately 50,000 people.

2020 Census Reapportionment and Redistricting Data

Collections for the 2020 Census ended on October 15, 2020.  The Census Bureau is now in the process of reviewing and analyzing the results before it is officially submitted to the President, Congress, and the states. In January, the Census Bureau reported that the deadlines set forth in federal law for delivering the reapportionment (December 31) and redistricting (March 31) data from the 2020 Census could not be met due to operational delays associated with COVID 19. The deadline to provide the reapportionment data to the President has been officially changed to April 30 and the deadline for delivering the 2020 Census redistricting data to the states has been officially changed to September 30, 2021. The full press release issued by Census Bureau regarding the redistricting delay can be viewed here. The Census Bureau provides periodic updates on their process and progress in reviewing and analyzing 2020 Census data on their website here. The Census Bureau also has a dedicated web page on Redistricting Data Program Management. This web page includes redistricting geographic support tools, files, materials, and information.

ACCG has been in contact with the Georgia Office of Reapportionment regarding redistricting. At this time, we do not have any information on how the delay in redistricting data will impact the redistricting process in our state. Once that information has been released, ACCG will work with the state to ensure that counties have the necessary information. There are new procedural changes for local redistricting based on legislation that passed in 2019.  Training will be offered on these changes later this year.

2020 Census Geographic Support Tools for Georgia Released

The Census Bureau has released Georgia geographic support tools for redistricting.  These geographic products are provided to support redistricting efforts by state and local governments and contain newly created 2020 Census blocks and updated block groups, census tracts, voting districts, and current boundaries for legal governments and school districts referenced to Jan. 1, 2020. This data can be found here.

Data Summits

The Census Bureau is hosting a series of web-based data workshops to assist partners in understanding and accessing the vast amount of census data. These summits are open to the public, but can be requested specifically for your county. Data summits will have census subject matter experts who will cover census data from the American Community Survey, Economic Census, decennial censuses, and population estimates. If you are interested in having a summit for your county, please contact Lindy Studds at [email protected].

Census Bureau Thank You Presentation Materials

The U.S. Census Bureau hosted a webinar to thank ACCG and Georgia counties for our 2020 Census efforts, provide an overview of the final response rates, and provide a look ahead on how our continued partnership can build a bridge to the 2030 Census. The presentation also included information on Data Summits. A recording of the webinar and other resources can be accessed below.

ACCG and U.S. Census Bureau Thank You Webinar

Power Point Presentation

Georgia Thank You Video (by U.S. Census Bureau)


2020 Census

Since 1790, the U.S. Census Bureau has conducted a national census every ten years. The purpose of the census is to establish an accurate count of the nation’s population. States and local governments are currently in the process of preparing for the upcoming 2020 Census, which will begin on April 1, 2020. To ensure that counties are well informed and taking all the necessary steps, ACCG created this resource center.

The Role of Counties in the Census

Ensuring that each county has an accurate census count is very important. The George Washington Institute of Public Policy reported that Georgia received almost $24 billion ($2300 per person per year ) in federal funding from the 55 largest federal programs based on 2010 census data.. Failure to count just 10 households containing 2.5 people in your county could result in the loss of $575,000 over the 10-year census period. In addition to federal funding, census data is used for local planning purposes, LOST renegotiations, service delivery, redistricting, state and federal grant eligibility, tier designation, economic development, business expansion and location, and insurance premium tax distributions.

Failing to properly prepare for and promote the census in your county can lead to an undercount which will impact your county for a 10-year period following the census. Hear directly from county manager, Merv Waldrov, and county administrator, Bob Sprinkel, on the importance and impact of census data on county government.

Local Complete Count Committees

The State Complete Count Committee was created in 2018 to provide educational and marketing tools and coordinate statewide census efforts for local communities to use in promoting the 2020 Census. Local Complete Count Committees (LCCCs) are the grassroots committees that work directly with their communities to spread awareness and should formed at the county level. LCCCs are established to educate and inform the public about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census and how census data impacts their community. These committees should be made up of a wide variety of stakeholders including county and municipal leaders, local schools and colleges, regional commissions, extension services, media, faith based organizations, community organizations, ethnic/cultural organizations, employers, or any other groups in your county that can help maximize participation. Creating a LCCC in your county will strengthen the planning and execution of outreach efforts, especially in hard to count areas. There are numerous toolkits available to help LCCCs plan and market their outreach strategies.

SCCC Toolkit for Local Complete Count Committees

ACCG LCCC FAQs and Toolkit

GMA Toolkit

US Census 2020 Census Toolkit for State and Local Officials

LCCC County Participation Map

LCCC Contact Information

State CCC Social Media Toolkit

Media and Marketing Resources

The SCCC and the US Census Bureau have created dozens of downloadable fact sheets, posters, videos, merchandise, and other materials that can be used to promote the 2020 Census. The SCCC has even created posters that can be customized with photos of local community leaders and issues that reflect the needs of your community. Additionally, Voices for Georgia’s Children and Georgia Family Connection have partnered to create a website with resources that include videos, fact sheets, and printed material that provide specific Georgia based information on the census impact to children, education, and healthcare. Further, the Valdosta State University Center for South Georgia Regional Impact has free Census posters and table tents available for their 41 county service area.

SCCC Marketing Materials

SCCC Customized Materials

SCCC TV, Video, and Radio Spots

Family and Children Resources

Center for South Georgia Regional Impact Resources

Georgia Branding Guide

Language Resources

SCCC Resource Library

US Census Taglines and Logos in Different Languages

US Census Promotional Materials and Guidelines

State CCC Social Media Toolkit

Georgia Media Plan

National Media Plan

U.S. Census Press Kit

Georgia Social Media Pack

ACCG-GMA 2020 Census Workshops and Webinar Materials

ACCG and GMA held a series of census workshops in the spring of 2019 on creating local complete count committees. ACCG and GMA also hosted a webinar on January 9, 2020 on LCCC timelines, strategies, and available marketing materials. Workshop materials by location as well as the webinar video and PowerPoint are provided below.

ACCG-GMA 2020 Census Webinar

Leesburg (Lee County)

Cartersville (Bartow County)

Duluth (Gwinnett County)

Macon-Bibb County (Video Link #1; Video Link #2)

Statesboro (Bulloch County)

ACCG-GMA Census Newsletter

ACCG and GMA have partnered to produce a monthly census newsletter which contains information on census outreach, guidelines, schedule modifications, and best practices.

September 2020

August 2020 (additional newsletter)

August 2020

July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

December 2019

Georgia and County Census Facts

Facts sheets, infographics, statistics, articles, and maps have been created from a variety of sources that show Georgia based county and state level information on the census.

County Population Gains and Losses
County 2010 Census Response Rates and Internet Access Statistics
County Level Census Data

GWU Counting for Dollars Georgia

Georgia Education Impact

Georgia Healthcare Impact

Everyone Counts: How to Maximize the 2020 Census Count for Your County

Working with Hard-to-Count Communities

Why the 2020 Census is Important to Your County

Is Your County Prepared for the 2020 Census?

Brief #7: Comprehensive Accounting of Census-Guided Federal Spending (FY2017)

Hard-to-Count Areas

After each census, the U. S. Census Bureau reviews response rates. Areas that have low response rates are considered to be hard-to-count. Reasons for low response rates may be language barriers, low trust in government, or poor communications with citizens in certain groups or communities. There are several resources that will help your county to identify previous areas that were previously noted as hard-to-count.

Georgia Hard to Count Maps

Using Census tools, DCA and OPB created maps that show the hard-to-count areas in Georgia by each DCA District, Congressional District, and county.

Resource: DCA Maps; Congressional Maps; County Maps

CUNY Mapping Service

The City University of New York (CUNY) Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research has developed a map of hard-to-count (HTC) communities to highlight areas of the country whose populations had low mail return rates for the 2010 Census. The map provides information to help stakeholders ensure these hard-to-count areas and populations are fully counted.


The Response Outreach Area Mapper

The Response Outreach Area Mapper (ROAM) is designed to show characteristics of hard-to-count areas. This map shows the Low Response Score (LRS) for an area. The higher the number, the more difficult the area may be to survey. If the LRS is low, the area has a high probability of returning their census form immediately.


Census Engagement Navigator

The Census Engagement Navigator was specifically created to prepare for the 2020 census. It allows users to understand what areas of the country had high or low return rates in the 2010 Census, and the current demographic makeup of these neighborhoods.


2010 Response Rates

Response Rates from the 2010 Census are available and can be broken down by state, county, city, and more. It also compares the participation rate from 2000 to 2010.