Timeline for 2020 Census Data Release

The Census Count Has Begun – What About the Estimates?

North Carolinians will soon receive invitations to respond to the 2020 Census and communities throughout the state will continue to promote the 2020 Census in order to ensure that EVERYONE is counted. These counts will not be reported for local municipalities and counties until 2021. However, annual estimates of the population will once again be prepared and reported by both the US Census Bureau and the State Demographer in the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management.

Per the State Demographer's Office at NC OSBM, here are the key dates and activities of the population estimates program and how they relate to the 2020 Census:

(*Census Bureau estimates; +2020 Census; #State Demographer)

*March 26, 2020: US Census Bureau’s July 1, 2019 population estimates for counties become available

+April 1, 2020: Census Day

#May 15: State Demographer sends e-mails/letters to municipalities/counties requesting confirmation of local contact information for annual survey

*May 21, 2020: US Census Bureau’s July 1, 2019 population estimates for municipalities and housing unit estimates for counties become available

#June 25, 2020: State Demographer sends e-mail invitations to local contacts asking them to respond to the North Carolina Demographic Information Survey 

*June 25, 2020: US Census Bureau’s July 1, 2019 population estimates by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin for Counties published

#July 24, 2020: Last day for counties and municipalities to respond to the annual survey

+July 31, 2020: Census count completed

#August 27, 2020: State Demographer sends e-mail invitation to municipalities and counties to review the preliminary July 1, 2019 standard and certified population estimates for their respective areas

#September 9, 2020: Last day that municipalities and counties can comment on the preliminary population estimates

#September 15, 2020: State Demographer finalizes certified and standard population estimates for municipalities and counties and delivers to NC Dept. of Transportation and Dept. of Revenue

#September 30, 2020: State Demographer publishes county and municipal population estimates to demography.osbm.nc.gov

#September 30, 2020: The State Demographer will send letters only to those municipalities and counties where there are substantial changes from the preliminary to the final population estimates.  All others may review their final estimates at: North Carolina Demographic Information Survey (see the review screen) or access the estimates online at demography.osbm.nc.gov.

#October 30, 2020: State Demographer publishes 2020 – 2040 Population Projections for counties and the state at demography.osbm.nc.gov. This will be the last set of population projections that will rely on the 2010 Census as a base

+December 31, 2020: The US Census Bureau delivers the apportionment counts to the President. The apportionment count includes the total population living in each state plus military and federal personnel and their families living abroad (allocated to states based upon recorded home state).

+April 1, 2021: Deadline for the release of the re-districting data from the 2020 Census. This will include total and voting age population, population by race and Hispanic origin, and housing unit counts for all geographies down to the census block. More detailed demographic data files will be released after this date.

#Spring-Summer 2021: The State Demographer will evaluate how well the populations for municipalities and counties were estimated for 2010 – 2019 by comparing the 2010 and 2020 Census counts to population estimates. All models will be adjusted and re-weighted for each municipality and county based upon these evaluations.

#September 15, 2021: The first set of standard and certified population estimates using the 2020 Census counts as a base will be produced by the State Demographer.  Populations will be estimated for July 1, 2020 (three months after the April 1, 2020 Census count).

#October 30, 2021: The first state and county population projections using inputs from the 2020 Census will be produced.