The U.S. Census Bureau, in coordination with federal, state and local health officials, re-opened the North Dakota field office in Bismarck on May 4. Staff quickly ramped up operations to re-start the Update Leave program, which will deliver Census packets to 41,700 North Dakota households that receive their mail at a P.O. Box rather than at a physical mailing address.

As of Tuesday, May 19, about half of the Update Leave operation had been completed. That’s about 21,000 households – mostly in rural areas – that have had invitations and packets dropped off at their front door (or close to it). Update Leave is an important program in North Dakota; it represents about 10 percent of the state’s total households.

This operation should wrap up around mid-June.

For anyone wondering about Census staff being out in our communities, the health and safety of the public and Census staff is of the utmost importance. All staff working in the field have received safety training to observe social distancing protocols in the COVID-19 environment. For their safety and the safety of the public, the Census Bureau has also issued Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all North Dakota field staff, including those that work in a field office.

North Dakota’s North River only community at 100 percent

The town of North River in Cass County is still the only community in the nation with 100 percent response. Others are coming closer, but North River is still on top! Frontier, ND, also cracks the top 10 at No. 7 with 89.9 percent.

How’s North Dakota counting?

North Dakota is at 58.9 percent of households that have self-responded (through May 18). We’re close to the national average of 59.6 percent. Burleigh County continues to lead the way with 73.9 percent. To view the latest response rates, please click here.

Take the Census now to help your community

If you haven’t completed the Census yet, what are you waiting for? It’s never been easier!

• We are strongly encouraging the public to respond to the 2020 Census online using a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, or tablet. You can also respond by phone or mail.

• You can complete the 2020 Census online in English or 12 other languages and find assistance in many more at It has never been easier to respond on your own — all without having to meet a census taker.

• While you are practicing “social distancing,” you can respond to the census while at home – this will help us reduce the number of census takers we will need to send door-to-door to count those households that don’t respond to the 2020 Census.

All across America, people are stepping up and responding from home.

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