As of October 15, the 2020 Census response period is officially over. During the last couple of months, Census enumerators were disbursed across Massachusetts to find residents who had not yet responded. While they have had some success – the Census Bureau shows that 99.9 percent of Massachusetts households have been counted – reaching these last respondents was not a given. Indeed, it’s likely that many of the residents that the Bureau is counting were imputed – that is, instead of reaching these residents, the Bureau simply asked neighbors of the unresponsive households who lived there. This introduces more opportunity for error, and a potential undercount. To understand this error, the Bureau typically returns to locations across the United States to test Census accuracy with a post-enumeration survey (more info on that survey in Census 2020, Explained
). However, it is not clear how – or even if - the Bureau will be running this during the pandemic. Suffice it to say, the outcome and accuracy of the 2020 Census remains unknown.