California Census Challenge header

Every ten years, people across the country, including Californians, fill out the Census in order to have an accurate count of all people in the United States. The Census helps determine California’s federal funding for important community services that help support our families.

For this reason, we are launching the California Census Challenge to help increase the response rates of each of California’s 482 cities and 58 counties. The California Census Challenge’s goal is for California to have a complete and accurate count, while decreasing the need for at-home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing the low-responding census tracts. If the current lack of responses throughout the state are not addressed, California may drastically undercount its residents, leading to a loss of funding and representation for the next ten years.

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California Census Challenge Breakdown
All 482 cities and 58 counties in California will compete to have the highest response rate.(Next Section) The challenge will run concurrently with the dates of the 2020 Census. (Next Section) Secretary Padilla, members of the Legislature, and Census partners will have an opportunity to award the plaques to the winners.

California cities and counties will compete against other cities and counties with similar population sizes. The top three cities and counties from each tier, including their hardest-to-count tracts, will receive a plaque recognizing their efforts. Awards will also be given to three cities and counties from each tier that have the largest increase in response rates throughout the duration of the competition.

Counties: Click to view list of tier breakdownTier 1: Population Size of under 100,000 residentsTier 2: Population Size of 100,000-500,000 residentsTier 3: Population Size of over 500,000 residents
Cities: Click to view list of tier breakdownTier 1: Population Size of under 5,000 residentsTier 2: Population Size of 5,000-50,000 residentsTier 3: Population Size of over 50,000 residents