Census 2020 Count

Montana receives more than $2 billion in federal funding every year based on Census data for things like health care, highways, schools and community planning. The Census also shapes local voting and school districts. The count is conducted every 10 years by the federal government, with states supporting the effort to inform residents about the importance of being counted. The Census and Economic Information Center within the Montana Department of Commerce is Montana’s designated agency for Census outreach, analyzing and disseminating the data, and providing training on Census programs and products.

The Census count was scheduled to begin in April 2020, but disruptions caused in part by the COVID-19 global pandemic created additional challenges for getting an accurate count of Montanans. Despite these challenges, Montana’s self-response rate to the Census was 60.4 percent.

Once final data is provided to the state by the U.S. Census Bureau, the independent Montana Districting and Apportionment Commission will use 2020 Census information to redraw the boundaries of congressional and legislative districts. This data will also be used to determine federal funding allocations for more than 300 federally funded programs and determine whether Montana will regain its second congressional seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Keep track of updates from the U.S. Census Bureau here.


The rollout of 2020 Census data has been delayed due to Covid-19 impacts on data collection and the implementation of new measures to ensure privacy.

The following timeline is subject to change.

  • 4/30/2021 - Apportionment data delivery
  • 9/30/2021 - P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data Summary File delivery   


Why an accurate census count is important for Montana

For every Montana resident counted, the Census estimates the state will receive nearly $2,000 per person each year in federal funding. The $20,000 per person coming into the state over the next decade is used in every Montana county for medical assistance, educational programs, need-based support, infrastructure, highway planning and over 300 other programs. Spending just a few minutes to complete your Census form will help ensure Montana gets its fair share of federal funding. Filling out the form is quick, easy, safe and important.
Apportionment and Redistricting
Census data is used to define legislative districts, establish school districts and guide decision making in many other functional areas of government. As mandated by the U.S. Constitution, the Census is used to apportion seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Montana is one of the states on the cusp of gaining an additional congressperson, so getting a complete count is more important than ever.
Census data is used to inform community decisions. Think of it like a snapshot of who we are as a community every decade. Data for each area are crucial to many planning decisions, such as where to provide services for seniors, where to build new roads and schools and where to locate job training centers. Census data is also used by organizations to obtain grant funding for key programs helping Montanans.

Census 2020 Response Rate

The following table is from the United States Census 2020 Response Rates site.  The total housing units enumerated includes those that self-responded and those that required a nonresponse follow up by a census taker.