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2020 Census Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP)

The 2020 Census Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP) enables invited participants to review and update selected statistical area boundaries for 2020 Census data tabulation following U.S. Census Bureau guidelines and criteria. The Census Bureau also will use the statistical areas defined for the 2020 Census to tabulate data for the annual American Community Survey (ACS) estimates and the Economic Census.

There are two types of statistical geographies, standard and tribal, available for review under the 2020 Census PSAP.

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Standard statistical geographies include:

  • Census tracts.
  • Block groups.
  • Census designated places (CDPs).
  • Census county divisions (CCDs), in selected states.


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Tribal statistical geographies include:

  • Tribal census tracts (TCTs).
  • Tribal block groups (TBGs).
  • Census designated places (CDPs).
  • Alaska Native village statistical areas (ANVSAs).
  • Oklahoma tribal statistical areas (OTSAs).
  • OTSA tribal subdivisions.
  • Tribal Designated Statistical Areas (TDSAs).
  • State Designated Tribal Statistical Areas (SDTSAs).

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The Census Bureau may modify, and if necessary reject, statistical geographic areas and/or their boundaries submitted by participants that do not meet established criteria and guidelines.

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2020 Census PSAP Information Guide

The 2020 Census PSAP Information Guide provides important information for governments planning to participate in the 2020 Census PSAP, including how to prepare for the 2020 Census PSAP and the final statistical geographies criteria and tribal statistical geographies criteria.

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Who is my 2020 Census PSAP contact?

The name and contact information for the government entities and regional organizations that are participating in the 2020 Census Participant Statistical Areas Program (PSAP), known as primary PSAP participants, are in the Primary PSAP Participant Contact Information file below. The primary PSAP participants received the 2020 Census PSAP delineation phase materials for the county or counties identified, and are responsible for the review and update of statistical areas for that county or counties. If you are interested in providing input to the statistical areas plans for your area, please contact your primary PSAP participant or contact the Census Bureau at geo.psap@census.gov or 1-844-788-4921.

Only entities responding for standard statistical geographies are shown in the Primary PSAP Participant Contact Information file. Federal and state tribal statistical areas and the entities reporting for those areas are not shown in the file.

The STCOU field in the Primary PSAP Participant Contact Information file represents the code of the county for which the participant is responsible for statistical area review and update, where ST is the two-digit state FIPS code and COU is the three-digit county FIPS code. The information within this file will be updated periodically, as needed.

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Why Participate in the 2020 Census PSAP?

The 2020 Census PSAP is the only opportunity prior to the 2020 Census for regional planning agencies (RPAs); councils of governments (COGs); Alaska Native Regional Associations (ANRAs); and tribal, state, county, and local governments (including the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico) to review and update the selected statistical areas. The Census Bureau uses the statistical areas defined for the 2020 Census to tabulate data for the ACS throughout the decade. These data are used to:

  • Prepare grant applications to fund community and regional development, education, agriculture, energy, and environmental programs, as well as other needed community improvements and enhancements.
  • Plan for future community needs. The next opportunity to review and delineate statistical areas is planned for the 2030 Census.

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What's New?

  • The former Tribal Statistical Areas Program (TSAP) is included as part of the 2020 Census PSAP. Federally recognized tribes and state tribal liaisons have the opportunity to update tribal statistical geographies in 2020 Census PSAP.
  • To reduce participant burden, the Census Bureau is providing proposed 2020 Census tracts and block groups for review and update by PSAP participants. Participants may accept the Census Bureau’s 2020 Census tracts and block groups, update the proposed tracts and block groups, or use the 2010 Census statistical area geography as a base to make updates (see "2020 Census Tract and Block Group Proposed Changes Files" below).
  • Participants reviewing standard statistical area geographies are required to use the Census Bureau’s Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) to delineate updates. The GUPS runs in QGIS, which is an open source Geographic Information System (GIS), and it contains all functionality required to make 2020 Census PSAP updates, execute automated checks for program criteria compliance, and create standardized data output files for Census Bureau processing. The GUPS will be available for download from the Census Bureau's website or available on DVD.
  • Participants using the GUPS to update their statistical areas must use the Secure Web Incoming Module (SWIM) to send their updates. The SWIM is the official web portal for uploading partnership materials to the Census Bureau.
  • Tribal participants reviewing TCTs, TBGs, or CDPs may use the GUPS or may elect to use the Census Bureau provided paper maps to review and edit tribal statistical geographies.
  • Participants reviewing ANVSAs, OTSAs, OTSA tribal subdivisions, TDSAs, or SDTSAs are provided Census Bureau paper maps to review and edit tribal statistical areas.

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What is the 2020 Census PSAP Schedule?

  • March - May 2018: Contact 2010 Census PSAP participants to inquire about 2020 Census PSAP participation. ✔
  • July 2018: 2020 Census PSAP invitation materials sent to 2020 Census PSAP participants. ✔
  • November 2018: Final criteria for standard statistical areas published. ✔
  • January 2019: 2020 Census PSAP delineation phase begins. Participants have 120 calendar days to submit updates. ✔
  • January 2019: 2020 Census PSAP webinar trainings
    begin. ✔
  • July 2019: 2020 Census PSAP participants notified of delineation phase closeout. ✔
  • January 2020: 2020 Census PSAP verification phase begins. Participants have 90 calendar days to review updates.

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2020 Census PSAP Delineation Materials

The 2020 Census PSAP Delineation Phase has ended. The documentation listed below for the 2020 Census PSAP Delineation Phase will remain for reference only.

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2020 Census PSAP Guides

There are three types of guides for 2020 Census PSAP:  PSAP Respondent Guides, Quick Program Guides, and Quick Reference Guides.

PSAP Respondent Guides provide detailed instruction on how to use Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) or paper maps to review and update (if needed), or delineate statistical areas.

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Quick Program Guides provide quick instruction on how to download GUPS via the PSAP website or DVD and install on your computer. Detailed instructions are provided in the PSAP Respondent Guides.

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Quick Reference Guides provide quick snapshot of delineation criteria and guidelines for the PSAP geographic entities.

Standard Geography Quick Reference Guides:

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Standard Geography Quick Reference Guides for Puerto Rico participants (Spanish):

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Tribal Geography Quick Reference Guides:

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Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS)

Download and install the GUPS software if you are a standard PSAP participant or a digital tribal PSAP participant.

zip   Download the GUPS   [802 MB]
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Additional Data Files

Tribal Census Tract and Tribal Block Group 2010 Population and Housing Counts Files

To support tribal participants’ review and update of their tribal census tracts and tribal block groups, the Census Bureau provides the Tribal Census Tract and Tribal Block Group 2010 Population and Housing Count Microsoft Excel files that identify the of 2010 population and housing counts for each tribal census tract and tribal block group. Federally recognized tribes with an AIR and/or ORTL can use the information to identify tribal census tracts and tribal block groups that fall outside of the population and housing thresholds.

The naming convention for this file is “AIA<AIANNHCE>_2010_Pop_and_Housing_counts.xlsx,” where AIANNHCE is the four-digit Census area code for the tribal entity, where AI is American Indian, AN is Alaska Native, and NH is Native Hawaiian.

Refer to the 2020 Census PSAP Tribal Digital Respondent Guide or the 2020 Census PSAP Tribal Paper Respondent Guide for additional information about these files.

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2020 Census Tract and Block Group Proposed Changes Files

The Census Bureau reviewed census tracts and block groups in nearly all counties, identifying suggested changes and adjustments to help streamline the review and update on the part of primary participants.  The Census Bureau terms this early review and the associated updates an “internal review” and its output as the “2020 Proposed Plan.”

The Census Bureau supplies the 2020 Census Tract and Block Group Proposed Changes Microsoft Excel files, containing census tracts that have been split or merged, or have had code/type changes, and modified block groups.

The naming convention for this file is psap20_proposed_changes_<SSCCC>.xlsx, where SS is the two-digit state FIPS code and CCC is the three-digit county FIPS code.

Refer to the 2020 Census PSAP Standard Respondent Guide for additional information about these files. 

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Training Webinar Information

As of February 14, 2019 live webinars have concluded. Recordings of the PSAP Standard GUPS webinar and PSAP Tribal GUPS webinar are available below. The webinars include information about the statistical geography criteria and guidelines, the delineation materials, and how to provide updates using the Geographic Update Partnership Software (GUPS) or paper maps. 

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The presentations that were used during the live webinars are provided below in PDF format for reference.

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2020 Census PSAP Federal Register Notice


Standard Statistical Geographies

The Federal Register Notices providing final criteria for the 2020 Census PSAP standard statistical geographies (census tracts, block groups, census designated places, and census county divisions) were published on November 13, 2018. Copies of these Federal Register Notices are available via the links below.

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Tribal Statistical Geographies

The tribal statistical geographies for the 2020 Census PSAP share the same criteria and guidelines as published in the 2008 FRN for the 2010 Census PSAP. These guidelines and criteria are available via the links below.

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Where Can I Find More Information?

  • Please watch this short video to understand how your participation benefits your community.
  • You can find statistical data for tribal geographies in the Census Bureau's My Tribal Area application.
  • View the 2020 Census PSAP Flyer [PDF].


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Contact Information

Contact the U.S. Census Bureau with questions about 2020 Census PSAP.

Email: geo.psap@census.gov

Phone Number: 1-844-788-4921


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